St. Mark's Lutheran Church, Salisbury, NC
As members of the priesthood of all believers, called by the Holy Spirit to confess the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in its purity, we give thanks for God's continual faithfulness and, by adopting this constitution, form this fellowship and association of congregations, uniting to carry out God's mission in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Article 1 - Name and Incorporation
1.01. The name of this congregation shall be St. Mark's Lutheran Church, Salisbury, NC. For the purpose of this constitution, St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Christ hereinafter may also be designated as "this congregation".
1.02. This congregation is affiliated with the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC).
1.03. This congregation can be incorporated and its Articles of Incorporation are to be filed under the laws of the State of North Carolina.
Article 2 - Statement of Faith
2.01. We believe, teach, and confess the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
2.02. We believe, teach, and confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and the gospel as the power of God for the salvation of all who believe in him.
2.02.1. Jesus Christ is the Word of God incarnate, through whom everything was made and through whose life, death, and resurrection God fashions a new creation.
2.02.2. The proclamation of God's message to us as both law and gospel is the Word of God, revealing
judgment and mercy in the person and work of Jesus Christ through whom God was pleased to reconcile all things to Himself.
l 2.02.3. The canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God. Inspired by God's
Spirit speaking through their authors, they record and announce God's revelation centering in Jesus Christ. Through them God's Spirit speaks to us to create and sustain Christian faith and fellowship for service in the world.
2.03. We believe, teach, and accept the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the
inspired Word of God and the sole authoritative source and norm of our proclamation, faith, and life.
2.04. We accept the Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds as true declarations of the scriptural faith we believe, teach, and confess.
2.05. We believe, teach, and accept the Unaltered Augsburg Confession and the Small Catechism as true witnesses to the Word of God, normative for our teaching and practice. We acknowledge that we are one in faith and doctrine with all churches that likewise accept the teachings of the Unalt ered Augsburg Confession.
2.06. We believe, teach, and confess the other confessional writings in the Book of Concord, namely, the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the Smalcald Articles, the Treatise, the Large Catechism, and the Formula of Concord, as further valid expositions of the Holy Scriptures.
2.07. We believe, teach, and confess the gospel, recorded in the Holy Scriptures and confessed in the ecumenical creeds and Lutheran confessional writings, as the power of God to create and sustain
the priesthood of all believers for God's mission in the world.
Article 3 - Statement of Purpose
3.01. All power in the Church of Christ belongs to our Lord Jesus Christ, its head. All actions of this congregation as a member of the Church are to be carried out under His rule and authority.
3.02. The Church is a people created by God in Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, called and sent to bear witness to God's creative, redeeming, and sanctifying activity in the world.
3.03. To participate in God's mission, this congregation as a part of the Church shall:
3.03.1. Worship God in proclamation of the Word and administration of the sacraments and through
lives of prayer, praise, thanksgiving, witness, and service.
3.03.2. Proclaim God's saving Gospel of justification by grace for Christ's sake through faith alone,
according to the apostolic witness in the Holy Scripture, preserving and transmitting, the Gospel
faithfully to future generations.
3.03.3. Carry out Christ's Great Commission by reaching out to all people to bring them to faith in
Christ and by doing all ministry with a global awareness consistent with the understanding of
God as Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier of all.
3.03.4. Serve in response to God's love to meet human needs, caring for the sick and the aged,
advocating dignity and justice for all people, working for peace and reconciliation among the
nations, and standing with the poor and powerless, and committing itself to their needs.
3.03.5. Nurture its members in the Word of God so as to grow in faith and hope and love, to see daily life as the primary setting for the exercise of their Christian calling, and to use the gifts of the
Spirit for their life together and for their calling in the world.
3.03.6. Manifest the unity given to the people of God by living together in the love of Christ and by
joining with other Christians in prayer and action to express and preserve the unity which the
3.04. To fulfill these purposes, this congregat ion shall:
3.04.1. Provide services of worship at which the Word of God is preached and the sacraments are administered.
3.04.2. Provide pastoral care and assist all members to participate in this ministry.
3.04.3. Challenge, equip, and support all members in carrying out their calling in their daily lives and in their congregation.
3.04.4. Teach the Word of God.
3.04.5. Witness to the reconciling Word of God in Christ, reaching out to all people.
3.04.6. Respond to human need, work for justice and peace, care for the sick and the suffering, and
participate responsibly in society.
3.04.7. Motivate its members to provide financial support for the congregation's ministry.
3.04.8. Foster and participate in interdependent relationships with other congregations and the
churchwide organization of the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ.
3.04.9. Foster and participate in ecumenical relationships consistent with churchwide policy.
3.05. This congregation shall develop an organizational structure to be described in t he bylaws.
3.06. This congregation may, from time to time, adopt a mission statement which will provide specific direction for its programs.
Article 4 - By-Laws
4.01. This congregation may adopt By-laws. No By-law may conflict with this constitution.
4.02. Bylaws may be adopted or amended at any legally called meeting of the congregation, as described in the by-laws, by a two thirds (2/3) majority vote of those voting members present and voting. New or amended by-laws are effective as of the date passed by the Congregation.
4.03. Changes to the Bylaws may be proposed by any voting member provided, however that such additions or amendments be submitted in writing to the Congregational Council at least sixty (60) days before a regular or special meeting called for that purpose and that the Congregational
Council notify the members of the congregation of the proposal with its recommendations at least
thirty (30) days in advance of the congregational meeting.
Article 5 - Amendments
5.01. Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed by at least five (5) voting members or by the
Congregational Council. Proposals must be filed in writing with the Congregational Council sixty
(60) days before formal consideration by the congregation at a regular or special meeting called for that purpose. The Congregational Council shall notify the members of the congregation of the
proposal at least thirty (30) days in advance of the meeting.
5.02. A proposed amendment to this Constitution shall:
5.02.1. Be approved at a properly called meeting by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of those voting members present and voting;
5.02.2. Be ratified without change at the next annual meeting by two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of those present and voting; and
5.02.3. Have the effective date included in the resolution and noted in the Constitution.
Article 6 - Continuing Resolutions
6.01. The Congregational Council may enact Continuing Resolutions which describe the function of an office, committee or organization of this Congregation.
6.02. Continuing Resolutions shall be enacted or amended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of all voting members of the Congregational Council.
St. Mark's Lutheran Church, Salisbury, NC
These by-laws are duly adopted by and govern the affairs of St. Mark's Lutheran Church.
By-Law Section 1 - The Powers of the Congregation
1.01. The powers of the congregation are vested in the Congregational Meeting called and conducted as provided in the Constitution and these Bylaws.
1.02. Only such authority as is delegated to the Congregational Council or other organizational
units in this congregations governing documents is recognized. All remaining authority is retained by the congregation. The congregation is authorized to:
1.02.1. Call a Pastor according to the By-Laws of this Congregation.
1.02.2. Terminate the call of a Pastor according to the By-Laws of this Congregation.
1.02.3. Appoint or terminate the appointment of employees and others serving in ministry according to the By-Laws of this Congregation.
1.02.4. Approve the annual budget
1.02.5. Hold title to and use its property for any and all activities consistent with its purpose
1.02.6. Sell, mortgage, lease, transfer or dispose of its property
1.02.7. Elect and terminate its Council and Committees.
1.02.8. Adopt amendments to the Constitution of this congregation.
1.02.9. Adopt amendments to the By-Laws of this congregation.
1.02.10. Terminate the relationship of this congregation with the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ.
1.02.10.1. Termination of the relationship of this congregation with the LCMC will require
an amendment to the Constitution and as such, will need to follow the process as outlined in Article 5 of the Constitution of this Congregation.
1.02.10.2. Should the Congregation vote to terminate the relationship, the Congregation
will then follow the guidelines as described in the By-Laws of the Lutheran Congregation in Mission for Christ - Section 1- Membership
1.02.11. Entitled to select two delegates to the National Convention of the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ
1.02.12. Vote on ratification of any amendment to the Constitution of the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ.
By-Law Section 2 -The Congregational Meeting
2.01. The Annual Meeting of the congregation shall be held in November of each year on the date selected by the Congregational Council.
2.02. A special Congregation Meeting may be called by the Congregational Council at the
request of the Pastor, the Congregational Council, or the President of the Congregational Council or at the written request of 10% of the voting members submitted to the Congregational Council. The call for each special meeting shall specify the purpose for which it is to be held and no other business shall be transacted.
2.03. Notice of all meetings of this congregation shall be given at the worship services on the preceding two consecutive Sundays by verbal announcement and written notice in the weekly bulletin or by mail to all voting members at least 10 days in advance of the date of the meeting. The posting of such notice in the regular mail, with the regular postage affixed or paid, sent to the last known address of such members shall be suff icient .
2.04. A quorum for any regular or special meeting of the congregation shall be twenty percent of the voting members of record.
2.05. Voting by proxy or by absentee ballot shall not be permitted.
2.06. All actions by the congregation shall be by simpl e majority vote except as otherwise provided in this constitution and by-laws.
2.07. Robert's Rules of Order, latest edition, shall govern parliamentary procedure of all congregational meetings.
By-Law Section 3 -The Congregational Council
3.01. The membership of the Congregational Council shall consist of the Pastor (s), the Treasurer of the Church, and no less than 8 (no more than 12) members of the Congregation.
3.02. All members of the Congregational Council have voting rights. In accordance with Robert's Rules of Order, the President of the Council will only vote in the case of a tie.
3.03. Any voting member of the Congregation may be elected to the Congregational Council. Elections for Council will take place at the Annual Congregational Meet ing. Council members will serve a two-year term beginning January 1 of the following year, and must have a year-long break before being re-elected.
3.04. Nominations for new Council members will be taken by the Congregational Council and presented to the Congregation at the Annual Congregational Meeting . Nominations can be made from the floor during the meeting, but only if the nominee has given their approval prior to the meeting.
3.05. Newly elected Congregational Council members shall be installed at the worship service on the last Sunday in December. Any member not able to attend the installation worship service will be installed at the first Council meeting of the next year.
3.06. The Congregational Council shall elect amongst its members 3 Officers - the Council
Pr es ident, the Coun cil Vice President, and the Council Secretary, for the following year at the December Council Meeting. These officials will take office effective January 1.
3.06.1. The President of the Council is responsible for calling all meetings, defining an agenda for the Regular meeting and providing it in writing to both the Council and Congregation one week in advance of the meeting, and presiding over all meetings. The President will only vote in Council Meetings in the case of a tie. The President will also preside over any Congregational Meeting.
3.06.2. The Vice President of the Council is responsible for supporting the President of the Council and standi ng in for the President in the case of his/her absence.
3.06.3. The Secretary of the Council is responsible for recording the minutes for all meetings and providing these minutes to the Congregation as needed. All regular Council Meeting minutes shall be provided to the Congregation in writing by the Sunday following the meeting.
3.06.4. No officer may hold more than one office at a time.
3.06.5. Officers may hold office for their entire term or until their successors is elected.
3.06.6. At any point in the year, the Congregational Council may replace officer(s) by a two- third's majority vote.
3.07. A member's place on the Congregational Council shall be declared vacant:
3.07.1. immediately if the member ceases to be a voting member of this congregation; or
3.07.2. after a Council vote if the member notifies a Council Officer of their desire to be released from their duties of Council; or
3.07.3. after a Council vote if the member is absent from four successive regular meetings of
the Congregational Council without a Council Officer being notified of the absence prior to the meeting.
3.08. Should a member's place on the Congregational Council be declared vacant, the Congregational Council shall elect, by a simple majority vote, a successor until the next annual meeting.
3.09. The Church will also elect from its voting members a Church Treasurer responsible for the oversight of the Congregation's General Fund and Investment Accounts. This includes the balancing of the General Fund and Investment accounts, timely payment of invoices, recording the weekly contributions received, distribution of payroll for all Church employees, and preparing all tax documents required by the Federal and State Governments.
3.10. The Congregational Council shall have general oversight of the life and activities of this congregation, and in particular its worship life, to the end that everything be done in accordance with the Word of God and the faith and practice of the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ. The duties of the Congregational Council shall include the following:
3.10.1. To lead this congregation in stating its mission, to do long-range planning, to set goals and priorities, and to evaluate its activities in light of its mission and goals.
3.10.2. To seek to involve all members of this congregation in worship, learning, witness,
service, and support.
3.10.3. To oversee and provide for the administration of this congregation to enable it to fulfill
its functions and perform its mission.
3.10.4. To maintain supportive relationships with the pastor(s) and staff and help them annually to evaluate the fulfillment of their calling, appointment, or employment.
3.10.5. To be examples individually and corporately of the style of life and ministry expected of all baptized persons.
3.10.6. To promote a congregational climate of peace and goodwill and, as differences and conflicts arise, to endeavor to foster mutual understanding.
3.10.7. To arrange for pastoral service during the sickness or absence of the pastor.
3.10.8. To seek out and encourage qualified persons to prepare for the ministry of the Gospel.
3.11. The Congregational Council shall be responsible forthe financial and property matters of this congregation.
3.11.1. The Congregational Council shall be the board of trustees of this congregation, and as such shall be responsible for maintaining and protecting its property and the management of its business and fiscal affairs. It shall have the powers and be subject to
the obligations that pertain to such boards under the laws of the State of North Carolina, except as otherwise provided herein.
3.11.2. The Congregational Council shall not have the authority to buy, sell, or encumber real property unless specifically authorized to do so by a meeting of the congregation.
3.11.3. The Congregational Council may enter into contracts of up to $2,500.00 for items not
included in the budget, unless there is an emergency situation that could suspend the operation of the Church.
3.11.4. The Congregational Council shall prepare an annual budget for adoption by the congregation, and once approved at the Congregational Meeting, shall supervise the expenditure of funds in accordance therewith.
3.11.5. The Congregational Council shall ascertain that the financial affairs of this congregation are being conducted efficiently, giving particular attention to the prompt payment of all obligations.
3.11.6. The Congregational Council shall be responsible for this congregation's investments and its total insurance program.
3.11.7. The Congregational Council shall be responsible for reviewing projects supported by the Memorial Fund, Cemetery Fund, and Building Fund and the awarding of the Carmon A Wilson and William J Shulenburger Scholarships from the Scholarship Fund.
22.214.171.124. The Memorial Fund of this Congregation allows for monies to be donated in memory of a loved one to be used towards projects designed for the benefit of the Congregation as a whole.
126.96.36.199. The Cemetery Fund of this Congregation allows for monies to be donated in honor or in memory of a loved one to be used for the upkeep of the Cemetery on the church grounds and at the original Cemetery on Miller Road .
188.8.131.52. The Building Fund of this Congregation allows for monies to be donated in honor or in memory of a loved one to be used for the upkeep of the Church and all associated buildings.
184.108.40.206. The Scholarship Fund of this Congregation was established through endowments by the Carmon A Wilson and William J Shulenburger families and must follow the guidelines established by these families. Monies may also be donated to these funds in honor or in memory of a loved one.
3.11.8. The Congregational Council shall be responsible for approving any expenses to be paid from Investment Account sub-accounts that are not for normal business practice or the purpose behind the sub-account.
3.11.9. The Congregational Council shall be responsible for approving any special gifts given to the Church outside of the Memorial Fund, Cemetery Fund, Building Fund, or Scholarship Fund. This includes both monetary gifts given for specific purchases and physical gifts to be added to the Church's assets. The gift giver needs to make the request with the President of the Council to be added to the agenda for t he next Council meeting.
3.12. The Congregational Council shall see that the provisions of the Congregational constitution, these bylaws and any continuing resolutions are carried out.
3.13. The Congregational Council shall be provided an annual review of the membership roster by the Pastor in the last Council Meet ing of the year. Any recommendations on Member Status shall be voted on by the Council at that next Council meeting.
3.14. The Congregational Council shall be responsible for t he employment and supervision of the salaried lay workers of this congregation.
3.15. The Congregational Council shall normally meet once a month. Special meetings may be called by the President of the Council to handle special business, or responding to a request of the Pastor, or responding to a request by at least one-half of the Council members. Notice of each special meeting shall be given to all who are entitled to be present. Special effort will be made to give notice at least 24 hours prior to the meeting, except in emergency situations which would suspend operations of the Church. In such emergency situations, notice will be given as soon as possible.
3.16. A quorum for the transaction of business shall consist of a t wo-th irds (2/3) of the voting members of the Congre gational Council.
By-Law Section 4 - The Pastor
4.01. Authority to call a pastor shall reside in this congregation and be exercised by at least a two-thirds majority ballot vote of members present and vot ing at a meeting regularly called for that purpose. Before a call is issued, the officers, or a committee elected by this congregation to recommend the call, shall seek the advice and help of the association(s) to which it belongs.
4.02. The pastor(s) shall be ordained minister(s) and shall:
4.02.1. preach the Word as written, distinguishing between Law and Gospel;
4.02.2. administer the sacraments;
4.02.3. conduct public worship;
4.02.4. provide pastoral care;
4.02.5. preside at confi rmations, marriages, and funeral services;
4.02.6. visit the sick and distressed;
4.02.7. oversee all schools, if applicable, and organizations of this congregation;
4.02.8. install regularly elected members of the Congregational Council;
4.02.9. administer discipline together with the Congregational Council;
4.02.10. seek out and encourage qualified persons to prepare for ministry of the Gospel;
4.02.11. strive to extend the Kingdom of God in the community, in the nation, and abroad;
4.02.12. impart knowledge of this church and its wider ministry through distribution of its periodicals and other publications;
4.02.13. endeavor to increase the congregation's sense of partnership in the broader work of the Kingdom of God;
4.02.14. and equip the Congregants for ministry, helping each to identify gifts for ministry both within and beyond the congregation, training and supporting every member in t heir ministries, and encouraging gifted and trained members to use their gifts in ministry, including each of the areas me ntioned above.
4.03. The specific duties of the pastor, compensation and other matters pertaining to the service of the pastor shall be included in a letter of call. The letter of call shall be signed by the president and the secretary of the congregation.
4.04. When a pastor is called to serve in company with another pastor or pastors, the privileges and responsibilities of each pastor shall be specified in documents to accompany the call and to be drafted in consultation involving the pastors and the Congregational Council. As occasion requires, the documents may be revised.
4.05. The pastor(s) shall be a member or associate member of this congregation while under call.
4.06. The pastor(s) shall keep accurate parochial records of all baptisms, confirmations, marriages, burials, new members received, members departed or members excluded from the congregation, and a record of Holy Communions received, and shall submit a summary of such statistics annually to the congregation or as requested. At the end of a Pastor's call, all records must be updated and submitted to the Council before final payment of the Pastor's salary package is made.
4.07. The call of a congregation, when accepted by a pastor, shall normally constitute a continuing mutual relationship and commitment.
4.07.1. Except in the case of death of the pastor, the call shall be terminated only following consultation with the associations to which the Congregation belongs and for the following reasons:
4.07.1.1. mutual agreement to terminate the call or the completion of a call for a specific term;
4.07.1.2. resignation of the pastor;
4.07.1.3. inability to conduct the pastoral office effectively in the congregation in view of local conditions, without reflection on the competence or the moral and spiritual character of the pastor;
4.07.1.4. the physical or mental incapacity, or incompetence of the pastor;
4.07.1.5. disqualification of the pastor through discipline on grounds of doctrine, morality, or continued neglect of duty; or
4.07.1.6. the dissolution of the congregation.
4.07.2. Following acceptance of a letter of call to another ministry, resignation, or termination, the pastor's ministry in the congregation shall usually terminate within 30 days.
4.07.3. If conflict(s) and/or performance issue(s) arise with the pastor, then the corrective process shall follow Matthew 18:15-17, proceeding through these successive steps with no more than 30 days in between steps if necessary:
4.07.3.1. private discussion between the Pastor and the member(s) of the congregation with the conflict;
4.07.3.2. should the conflict not be resolved, the member(s) of the congregation shall notify the President of the Congregational Council to allow for a private discussion between the Pastor and the Congregational Council President
4.07.3.3. should the conflict not be resolved, a called Council meeting( s) will be held to allow for a private discussion(s) between the Pastor and the Congregational Council
4.07.3.4. Should the conflict not be resolved, a special informational meeting of the Congregation will be held to determine the options for St. Mark's current pastoral relationship .
4.07.3.4.1. The Council President will present all actions taken in the Conflict Resolution Process
4.07.3.4.2. The Pastor will be allowed to present any arguments in support of
his/her actions at this meeting.
4.07.3.4.3. The member(s) of the Congregation involved in the conflict will be allowed to present any arguments in support of his/her actions at this meeting.
4.07.3.4.4. A simple majority vote will be held to decide whether or not to initiate the termination process.
4.07.3.5. During this conflict resolution process, the Congregational Council may set up a private discussion with a combination of St. Mark's members and peers of the pastor from other churches and lay members from other churches.
4.07.3.5.1. Four St. Mark's participants shall be members from the Congregation. These members shall be chosen by majority vote of the Congregational Council.
4.07.3.5.2. Up to three peers of the pastor shall be from other churches, preferably local, and shall be of the pastor's choosing. Should the pastor choose none, then the Congregational Council may select them.
4.07.3.5.3. Up to three lay members from other churches, preferably local, and shall be of the Congregational Council's choosing.
4.07.4. If the conflict(s) and/or performance issue(s) are not resolved by B4.07.3, then the corrective process will escalate into a dismissal process, defined as follows.
4.07.4.1. A two-thirds majority vote by the Congregation shall be required to terminate the pastor.
4.07.4.1.1. All voting members will be notified in writing 10 days before the vote. 4.07.4.1.2. No final decision to terminat e shall be made sooner than 30 days from
the dismissal process inception, as recorded in the Congregational Council minutes, unless agreed upon by all parties or unless there is evidence of severe moral failure.
4.08. Compensation will be made to the Pastor on a monthly basis for the duration of their Call.
Should the call end, whether through resignation or termina tion, payments to the Pastor will cease as of the resignation/termination date. Monthly payments will be pro-rated if needed.
4.09. The congregation may depart from B4.07 and call a pastor for a specific term. Details of
such calls shall be in writing setting forth the purpose and conditions involved. Prior to the completion of a term, the congregation shall review the call. Such call may also be terminated before its expiration in accordance with the provisions of B4.07.
4.10. At a time of pastoral vacancy, an interim pastor may be sought by the Congregational Council.
4.11. During the period of service, an interim pastor shall have the rights and duties in the
congregation of a regularly called pastor and may delegate the same in part to a supply pastor with the consent of the Congregational Council. The interim pastor and any ordained pastor providing assistance shall refrain from exerting influence in the selection of a pastor unless by prior mutual agreement between the pastor and Congregational Council.
4.12. This congregation shall make satisfactory settlement of all financial obligations to a former pastor before calling a successor.
4.13. When the call of the senior pastor is terminated, for whatever reason, the congregation shall have the authority, but not the obligation, to ask for the resignation of additional member(s) of the staff.
4.13.1. The Congregational Council shall make recommendation to the congregation.
4.13.2. The Congregation shall have the final authority. Approval of Council's recommendation(s) requires a two-thirds majority vote by the congregation .
By-Law Section 5 - The Members
5.01. Members of this congregation shall be those baptized persons on the roster of this congregation at the time that this constitution is adopted and those who are admitted thereafter and who have declared and maintain their membership in accordance with the provision of this constitution and its bylaws.
5.02. Members shall be classified as follows:
5.02.1. Baptized members are those persons who have been received by the Sacrament of Holy Baptism in this congregation, or, having been previously baptized in the name of the Triune God, have been received by certificate of transfer from other Lutheran congregations or by affirmation of faith.
5.02.2. Confirmed members are baptized persons who have been confirmed in this
congregation, those who have been received by adult baptism or by transfer as confirmed members from other Lutheran congregations, or baptized persons received by affirmation of faith.
5.02.3. Active Voting members are confirmed members who have, during the current or preceding calendar year, communed in this congregation and have made a contribution of record to this congregation.
5.02.4. Inactive Non-Voting members are confirmed members who have not, during the current or preceding calendar year, communed in this congregation nor made a contribution of record to this congregation.
5.02.5. Active Non-Voting members include:
5.02.5.1. Active Associate members - persons holding membership in other Christ ian congregations who wish to retain such memb ership but desire to participa te in the life and mission of this congregation, or persons who wish to retain a relationship with this congregation while being members of other congregat ions. They have all the privileges and duties of membership except voting rights and eligibility for elected offices or membership on th e Congregational Council of this congregation. These members have, during the current or preceding calendar year, communed in this congregation and have made a contribution of record to this congregation .
5.02.5.2. Baptized members who have not been confirmed.
5.03. All applications for confirmed membership shall be submitted to and shall require the
approval of the Congregational Council.
5.04. It shall be the privilege and duty of members of this congregation to:
5.04.1. make regular use of the means of grace, both Word and sacraments:
5.04.2. live a Christian life in accordance with the Word of God and the teachings of the Lutheran church; and
5.04.3. support the work of this congregation and the church wide organization of the Lutheran
Congregations in Mission for Christ through contributions of their time, abilities, and financial support as biblical stewards.
5.05. Membership in this congregation shall be terminated by any of the following:
5.05.3. transfer or release; or
5.05.4. disciplinary action by the Congregational Council;
5.06. Such persons who have been removed from the roll of members shall remain persons for
whom the church has a continuing pastoral concern.
By-Law Section 6 -The Ministries and Committees
6.01. The officers of this congregation and the pastor shall constitute the Executive Committee.
6.02. There shall be a committee on Christian Education and Youth M inistry.
6.02.1. Christian Education - This sub-committee, in association with the pastor(s), shall oversee the conduct and promotion of the school(s) and their activities. This Committee also has
the responsibility of providing materials and meeting places for Sunday classes as determined by need or requests, and to introduce the church's periodicals and books of family devotions into the homes of the congregation.
6.02.2. Youth Ministry - This sub-committee shall be responsible for all youth activities of the
church, and shall direct the programs for the furtherance of youth ministry.
6.03. There shall be a Long Range Planning Committee. The mission of the committee is to explore methods and programs to the church council that enables the church to grow church membership to ensure the continued existence of St. Mark's Lutheran Church in
the twent y-first century. The committee shall propose new programs and activities
designed to attract new members, keep current members, and moti vate all members to accept the needs, opportunities and responsibilities to expand the ministry of the Lord. To encourage Communication, Leadership, and Education in the needs of an "On-Going Church."
6.04. There shall be a Finance & Stewardship Committee, of which the treasurer(s) shall be a
member(s) ex officio.
6.04.1. Finance - This sub-committee will prepare a draft budget for the succeeding year based on the actual operating receipts over the past three (3) completed years updated for any substantial changes in the current year's operations. This draft budget shall be submitted to the Congr egat ion al Council for its action and later presentation to a congregational meeting. This draft budget shall be presented to the congregational council at least two months prior to the congregational meeting. The committee shall exercise oversight of all the financial affairs of the congregation to make sure that they are being conducted efficiently, giving particular attention to the prompt payment of all obligations. It shall, subject to the approval of the Congregational Council, be responsible for the congregation's investments, and shall also provide for annual audits of the accounts of the school (s) and other organizations within the congregation. This committee and the Property Committee are responsible for the insurance program of the congregation. Reviews should be made as required due to changes in the congregation's assets and liabilities.
6.04.2. Stewardship - This sub-committee will function to evoke and promote the expression of Christian faith in daily living; to teach Christian use of money; to diffuse knowledge of the congregation's local, national, and worldwide miniseries; and to lead all its members to higher levels of proportionate giving for the Lord's work; and other congregational efforts that lead to informed and grateful giving.
6.05. There shall be a Committee on Outreach Ministry. This committee shall stimulate and lead all members of the congregation through activities to increase fellowship and spirituality. The committee shall reach out to members and non-members by providing at least three fun, social activities a year that promotes fellowship.
6.06. There shall be a Committee on Worship and Music. It shall assist the Congregational Council in assuring that the services in God's house are conducted regularly and in accordance with the liturgy of the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ, that competent ushers and acolyte's are recruited and t rained, and that hymnals and other devotional materials are provided and properly maintained. This committee sha ll supervise, and strive to advance the welfare and effective service of the choirs of the congregation. The Committee is responsible for establishing and maintaining scheduled lists for ushers, acolytes, and greeters each week. This Committee is also responsible for overseeing Homecoming activities.
6.07. There shall be a Committee of the Altar Guild. This Committee shall care for the altar and chancel furnishings and appointments, prepare the Holy Communion, and care for the pastor, choir and acolyte vestments. The Committee shall also sponsor holiday flowers for decorations of the Church, and help to decorate the sanctuary for the Christmas season, and organize the service for All Saints Sunday.
6.08. There shall be a Cemetery Committee. This Committee shall have the general oversight of the church cemeteries and the enforcement of the separate rules and regulations concerning burials in the cemeteries, and other requirements contained in the separate regulations governing use of the cemeteries. The committee shall also maintain the plot chart of members of the congregation eligible to be buried in the cemeteries based on the quar ter ly report of the membership committee, and line off the plots when members are to be buried in the cemeteries. Since this last function requires specific knowledge of the plot chart and other regulations, this committee should be a permanent committee with additional appointments as required to maintain a viable committee. Membership should not be limited in number. An addition function of the committee is to advise the property committee of required upkeep of the cemeteries, if any.
6.09. There shall be a Church Property Committee. This committee is responsible for the maintenance and protection of all property of the congregation. The committee is responsible for over-seeing the Janitor & Sexton positions. The committee is responsible for over-seeing the Fellowship building and making sure the guidelines are followed. The
committee shall advise the congregation concerning routine and capital improvements needed on a frequency determined by the committee, but not less than once per year. This committee and the Finance Committee shall ascertain that the congregational property is adequately insured. This should be reviewed on an annual basis. Capital projects should be covered under a builders risk policy at the beginning of the projects, according to the procedures set forth in the Endowed Scholarships guidelines, which include the Carmon Wilson A. Scholarship and the William J. Shulenburger Scholarship.
6.11. There shall be general procedures governing all committees. The Congregational Council
will assist appointing committee Chairs, if needed. Each Committee shall meet at least quarterly and shall submit a written report to the Church Council at least quarterly, and
Committees shall maintain a file of these reports for three years. The Pastor is encouraged
By-Law Section 7 - The Property
7.01. Title to property shall continue to reside in this congregation regardless of church
7.02. If this congregation ceases to exist, property shall be disposed of as determined by a final congregational meeting.
7.03. Should this congregation, by a two-thirds majority vote, choose to split into multiple Christian organizations, then ownership of the congregation's assets shall be determined
7.03.1. If at least one faction remains a Lutheran Congregation in Mission for Christ congregation or a member of a subsequent iteration of the LCMC, then title to allland
and other assets, both real and personal, shall remain with that faction.
7.03.2. If no faction is a Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ congregation or a member.
of a subsequent iteration of the LCMC, then title to allland and other assets, both real and personal, shall remain with the largest non-Lutheran Christian faction.
7.03.3. In either of these cases, the largest faction is defined as the group with the highest number of active voting members.
7.04. Should this congregation, by a t wo-thirds majority vote, choose to become an
organization which is not specifically and exclusively Christian in nature or join an organization which requires the congregation to abandon its Lutheran faith as described in Article Two of the Congregational Constitution, then title to all land and other assets, both real and personal, shall automatically remain with the largest minority faction wishing to remain an explicitly Christian organization.
7.05. The records of the congregation shall be the property of the congregat ion and shall not be
removed or used for commercial purposes. The records are:
7.05.1. the roster of baptized, confirmed, active voting, non-active, non-voting and active non voting;
7.05.2. the ministerial acts performed by the pastor;
7.05.3. the minutes of the meetings of the congregation and the Congregational Council;
7.05.4. the financial records of the congregation; all official and legal documents including the constitution and bylaws, deeds, mortgages, contracts, etc.
7.06. In the event of dissolution or cessation of ministry, the official records of the congregation shall be deposited in the archives of association(s) to which the congregation belongs.
By-Law Section 8 - Discipline
8.01. Denial of the Christian faith as described in the Congregation constitution, conduct grossly unbecoming a member of the Body of Christ, or persistent trouble-making in this congregation are sufficient cause for discipline of a member (congregational or staff). Prior to disciplinary action, reconciliation will be attempted following Matthew 18:15-17, proceeding through these successive steps with no more than 30 days between steps if necessary:
8.01.1. private discussion with the pastor(s),
8.01.2. private discussion with the pastor(s) in the presence of two or three witnesses, and
8.01.3. citation to appear before the Congregational Council.
8.02. A member charged with an offense shall appear before the Congregational Council having received a written notice, specifying the exact charges that have been made against the member, at least 10 days prior to the meeting. Should the member disregard the notice and make no effort to comply, the Congregational Council shall proceed with the hearing and reach its conclusion in the absence of the member.
8.03. Should the allegations be sustained by a two-thirds majority vote of the members of the Congregational Council, and renewed admonitions prove ineffectual, then the council shall impose one of the following disciplinary actions:
8.03.1. censure before the council or congregation;
8.03.2. suspension from membership for a defined period oftime; or
8.03.3. exclusion from membership in this congregation. Notice of disciplinary actions shall be delivered to the member in writ ing.
8.04. A member against whom disciplinary action has been taken by the Congregational Council shall have the right to appeal the decision to the congregation. Such right may not be abridged and the decision of the congregation shall be final.
8.05. Disciplinary actions may be reconsidered and revoked by the Congregational Council upon receipt of a) evidence that injustice has been done orb) evidence of repentance and amendment.
Adopted through a Congregational Vote on July, 14, 2013.