… The By-laws of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

BYLAWS OF HOLY TRINITY EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH
Abington, Pennsylvania

First Approved by the Church Council on November 2, 1988  (Approved and amended many times between 1988 and the present.) Most recently Approved by the Congregation on October 21, 2012

 Chapter 1 MISSION STATEMENT  

Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church is a congregation of people of God, bound together in love for the purpose of glorifying God in worship and in fulfilling His will through spreading the Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ to all humankind. 

Chapter 2 MEMBERSHIP

An inactive member is defined as a confirmed member who has not communed or made a contribution of record during the current or preceding year.  An inactive member may be removed from the roll of the congregation after two years of inactivity and shall be removed from the roll after five years of inactivity. 

Chapter 3 CONGREGATION MEETING 

The regular congregation meeting shall be held annually in January.

 

Chapter 4 OFFICERS 

B4.01.     In addition to the four officers specified in Paragraph 11.01.d of the Constitution, a financial secretary shall be elected by the Church Council in the same manner as the other officers.  He/she shall be a voting member of the congregation.  If the financial secretary is not a member of the Church Council, he/she shall be entitled to a voice without vote in its meetings. 

B4.02.     Duties of the officers: 

a.     The president shall preside over all meetings of the congregation and the Church Council. 

b.     The vice president shall preside over meetings of the congregation and the Church Council in the absence of the president. 

c.     The secretary shall keep accurate minutes of all meetings of the congregation and the Church Council in a volume provided by the congregation, which shall be preserved permanently in its archives. 

d.     The treasurer shall keep the books of account of the congregation.  He/she shall receive all funds and disburse them on proper orders, making monthly remittances of benevolence receipts to the treasurer of the North American Lutheran Church (NALC).  The treasurer shall make written reports of all his/her transactions to the Church Council monthly and to the congregation, together with a satisfactory audit, at its annual meeting.  The treasurer shall give corporate surety, in an amount determined by the Church Council, for which premiums shall be paid by the North American Lutheran Church congregation.

e.     The financial secretary shall receive and keep records of all income from members’ contributions and other sources. 

Chapter 5. CHURCH COUNCIL 

B5.01.     The tenures of the members of the Church Council shall be so arranged that one-third of the terms expire annually. 

B5.02.     The Church Council shall meet on the first Wednesday of each month. 

Chapter 6. CONGREGATIONAL COMMITTEES 

B6.01.     In addition to the committees specified in Chapter 13 of the Constitution, the following congregational committees shall exist:

Christian Education

Evangelism

Finance

Membership

Property

Social Ministry

Staff Support

Stewardship

Worship and Music 

B6.02      The members of the above-named committees shall be appointed by the Executive Committee to serve two-year terms, and their appointment shall be confirmed by the Church Council.  There shall be no specific limit on the number of members of each committee, and each member may serve an unlimited number of two-year terms. 

B6.03.     One member of each congregational committee shall be appointed by the Executive Committee to serve a two-year term as chairperson of the committee, and his/her appointment shall be confirmed by the Church Council.  The tenure for each committee chairperson shall be limited to two consecutive two-year terms. 

B6.04.     The Audit Committee shall be responsible for performing an annual audit of the accounts of the treasurer. 

B6.05.     The Christian Education Committee, in association with the pastor, shall oversee the conduct and promotion of the Sunday church school and all other Christian Education programs.  It shall encourage the use of teaching and worship materials published or approved by the North American Lutheran Church, and seek to introduce the church’s periodicals and books of family devotion into the homes of the congregation.  One of the primary aims of the committee shall be to bring the call to the ministry of the Gospel and to other full-time church vocations to the attention of qualified youth of the congregation. 

B6.06.     The Evangelism Committee shall stimulate and lead all members of the congregation in continuous and, from time to time, concerted endeavors to reawaken the spiritually indifferent and to reach others, who are as yet unwon, with the Gospel and attach them to Christ’s Church.  To this end, the committee shall devote itself to deepening spiritual life and shall periodically study the congregation in the context of its surrounding community. 

B6.07.     The Executive Committee, which consists of the officers of the congregation and the pastor, shall assist the pastor in overseeing and attending to the regular operations of the congregation, and shall appoint the members and chairpersons of the congregational committees as described in Paragraphs B6.02 and B6.03.  Meetings of the Executive Committee may be called at any time by either the pastor or the president, and notice of each meeting shall be given to all members.

B6.08.     The Finance Committee shall prepare a draft budget for the succeeding year, including this congregation’s share in support of the wider ministry of the North American Lutheran Church, and shall submit such draft budget to the Church Council for its action and later presentation to a congregation 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 and to the regular forwarding of benevolence monies to the treasurer of the NALC. The treasurer shall be a member ex officio of the Finance Committee. 

B6.09.     The Membership Committee shall help people grow into the deeper life of Christ and His Church by providing points of entry into the wider fellowship life of the Church. 

B6.10.     The Staff Support Committee shall endeavor to strengthen the ministry of the pastor and staff members as well as the congregation as a whole.  It shall consist of a personnel team for the pastors and paid staff members.  The personnel team shall prepare and update their job descriptions, establish compensation and benefits and encourage participation in appropriate continuing education programs.  The Committee shall also consist of a pastor-parish relations team.  This team shall act as an open communication channel regarding conditions and attitudes within the congregation and serve as an agent of reconciliation when there is conflict within the congregation. 

B6.11.     The Nominating Committee shall annually nominate a slate of qualified candidates for election to the Church Council. 

B6.12.     The Property Committee shall see the proper maintenance and protection of all property of the congregation, and shall take care that the same is kept in good repair and is adequately insured. 

B6.13.     The Social Ministry Committee shall extend Christian compassion and helpfulness to the ill, the aged, the orphaned, the underprivileged, the imprisoned and, in general, to persons of all ages in need of aid in body or soul.  It shall strive to enlist in these efforts as many as possible of the individual members and organizations of the congregation.  This committee shall further have the duty to study social conditions, primarily in the local community, in order to bring the cleansing and healing light of Christian truth to bear upon critical problems through thoughtful Christian discussion of facts and issues. 

B6.14.     The Stewardship Committee shall evoke and promote the expression of Christian faith in daily living; teach the Christian use of money; diffuse knowledge of the congregation’s local, national, and world-wide ministries; and lead all its members to higher levels of proportionate giving for the Lord’s work.  This committee shall also be responsible for the annual Every Member Response and other congregational efforts which lead to informed and grateful giving.  The treasurer shall be a member ex officio of the Stewardship Committee. 

B6.15.     The Worship and Music Committee shall assist the Church Council in seeing that the services of God’s house are conducted regularly and in accordance with the liturgy of the North American Lutheran Church, that competent worship assistants are recruited and trained, and that hymnals and other devotional materials are provided and properly cared for.  This committee shall supervise, and strive to advance the welfare and effective service of, the choirs of the congregation.  It shall arrange for the care of paraments, vestments and musical instruments; and, in consultation with the pastor, the organist, and the choir directors, it shall furnish music supplies appropriate for use in the worship of a congregation of the North American Lutheran Church. 

Chapter 7 INVESTMENT COMMITTEE 

B7.01      The Investment Committee of Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church shall monitor all investments of the Church. 

B7.02      The Committee shall consist of five members appointed by the Executive Committee and confirmed by the Church Council,  all of whom shall be voting members of Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church. The term of each member shall be three (3) years.  No member shall serve more than two (2) consecutive three (3) year terms.  After a lapse of one (1) year, former Committee members may be re-appointed.  The senior pastor/pastors and the president of the Church Council shall be advisory members of the Committee.  In the event of a vacancy on the Committee, the Church Council shall appoint a member to fill the vacancy. 

B7.03      The Committee shall meet at least quarterly, or more frequently, as deemed by it in the best interest of the Funds. 

B7.04      A quorum shall consist of three (3) members.  A majority present and voting shall carry any motion or resolution. 

B7.05      The Church Council shall appoint a chairperson.  The chairperson, or a member designated by the chairperson, shall preside at all committee meetings. 

B7.06      The Investment decisions of the committee shall be reported to Council for its approval. 

B7.07      Members of the COMMITTEE shall not be liable for any losses which may be incurred upon the investments of the assets of the FUND except to the extent such losses shall have been caused by bad faith or gross negligence.  Each member shall be liable only for his/her own acts or omissions of bad faith or gross negligence, and shall not be liable for the acts or omissions of any other member.  No member shall engage in any self dealing or transactions with the FUND in which the member has direct or indirect financial interest, and each member shall at all times refrain from any conduct in which his/her personal interests would conflict with the interest of the FUND. 

B7.08      All assets of the various funds shall be held in the name of Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church.  All assets of the funds and legal documents evidencing such assets or interests in such assets shall be given to the treasurer for deposit and/or safe-keeping. 

B7.09      All investment activity shall be audited annually by the Church Audit Committee. 

Chapter 8 CONGREGATIONAL INVESTMENTS 

B8.01      The following funds shall be utilized as detailed below: 

B8.011    CONGREGATIONAL FUND — Distributions may be made annually and at such other times as deemed necessary to accomplish the following purposes: 100% of Income and once a year with the concurrence of a congregational meeting, up to 10% of principal designated for Holy Trinity ministries.  

B8.012    OUTREACH FUND — Distributions shall be made annually and at such other times as deemed necessary to accomplish the following purposes:

                70% for benevolence for Lutheran ministries beyond the congregation

                                                          30% for local benevolence and to the community including, but not limited to, social service agencies, institutions and agencies to which this congregation relates, and to special programs designated for those persons in our parish area who are in spiritual and/or economic need.  

Only the income not the principal from the Outreach Fund shall be distributed. 

B8.02      Except for the 10% of principal allowed once a year in Paragraph B8.011, which does not require restoration to the Congregational Fund, only in particular, temporary, difficult, or emergency circumstances, may the Church Council use a portion of the principal and/or income of congregational investments for its own support services upon reasonable provision made in the circumstances for the subsequent restoration of such sum or sums plus interest.

B8.03      Programs for support by the Outreach Fund shall be recommended by a separate Outreach Committee appointed by the Church Council consisting of the pastor/pastors, who will give direction in the mission of the Church, and five (5) or more members of the congregation.  The Outreach Committee shall evaluate the ministerial objectives of Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, and recommend for support by the Fund specific programs and/or institutions for approval by the Church Council.  The committee may also direct the distribution and disbursements of other funds of similar nature so designated by the Church Council. 

B8.04      The Church Council shall designate directly the use of the income and/or principal of the Congregational Fund, limited only by provisions mentioned elsewhere in the Constitution and By-Laws. 

B8.05      No permanent restrictions on the distribution of income or principal from the Congregational Fund and income from the Outreach Fund are permitted. 

B8.06      In the event Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church ceases to exist either through merger or dissolution, disposition or transfer of the Congregational investments shall be at the discretion of the Church Council in conformity with the approved congregational constitution and in consultation with the bishop of the denomination to which this congregation belongs at such time. 

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Bylaws.doc

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