… Responsibilities of Church Council

The responsibilities of Church Council are outlined in the Constitution of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. The salient portion of The Constitution is quoted here:

Chapter 12.


12.01.      The voting membership of the Church Council shall consist of the pastor(s), the four (4) officers of the congregation, and eleven (11) other members of the congregation.  Any voting member of the congregation may be elected, subject only to the limitation on the length of continuous service permitted in that office.  A member’s place on the Church Council shall be declared vacant if the member a) ceases to be a voting member of this congregation or b) is absent from four (4) successive regular meetings of the Church Council without cause.  Consistent with the laws of the state in which this congregation is incorporated, the congregation may adopt procedures for the removal of a member of the Church Council in other circumstances.

12.02.      The members of the Church Council except the pastor(s) shall be elected by majority vote  at the annual meeting of the congregation.  They shall serve terms of three (3) years or until their successors are elected. Their terms shall begin on the Sunday immediately after the meeting at which they are elected. Newly elected Church Council members shall be installed at worship on any Sunday prior to the date they assume office.  Members shall be eligible to serve no more than two full terms consecutively.

12.03.      Should a member’s place on the Church Council be declared vacant, the Church Council shall elect, by majority vote, a successor until the next annual meeting.

12.04.      The Church 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, the Lutheran Confessions and the faith and practice of the NALC. The duties of the Church Council shall include the following:

a.     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.

b.    To seek to involve all members of this congregation in worship, learning, witness, service, and support.

c.     To oversee and provide for the administration of this congregation to enable it to fulfill its functions and perform its mission.

d.    To maintain supportive relationships with the pastor(s) and staff and help them annually to evaluate the fulfillment of their calling or employment.

e.     To be examples individually and corporately of the style of life and ministry expected of all baptized persons.

f.     To promote a congregational climate of peace and goodwill, and, as differences and conflicts arise, to foster resolution of such conflicts according to Biblical principles.

g.     To arrange for pastoral service during the sickness or absence of the pastor.

h.    To emphasize partnership with the NALC as well as cooperation with other Christian congregations, both Lutheran and non-Lutheran.

i.      To seek out and encourage qualified persons to prepare for the ministry of the Gospel.

12.05.      The Church Council shall be responsible for the financial and property matters of this congregation.

a.     The Church Council shall be the board of directors 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 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, except as otherwise provided herein.

b.    The Church 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.

c.     The Church Council may enter into contracts of up to five percent (5%) of the Current Fund Budget for items not included in the budget.

d.    The Church Council shall prepare an annual budget for adoption by this congregation, shall supervise the expenditure of funds in accordance therewith following its adoption, and may incur obligations of more than five percent (5%) in excess of the Current Fund Budget only after approval by a Congregational Meeting.

e.     The Church Council shall ascertain that the financial affairs of this congregation are being conducted efficiently, giving particular attention to the prompt payment of all obligations and to the regular forwarding of benevolence monies to designated recipients.

f.     The Church Council shall be responsible for this congregation’s investments and its total insurance program.

12.06.      The Church Council shall see that the provisions of this constitution and of the congregation’s bylaws and continuing resolutions are carried out.

12.07.      The Church Council shall provide for an annual review of the membership roster.

12.08.      The Church Council shall be responsible for the employment and supervision of the salaried lay workers of this congregation.

12.09.      The Church Council shall submit a comprehensive report to this congregation at the annual meeting.

12.10.      The Church Council shall normally meet once a month. Special meetings may be called by the pastor or the president, and shall be called by the president at the request of at least one-half of its members. Notice of each special meeting shall be given to all who are entitled to be present.

12.11.      A quorum for the transaction of business shall consist of a majority of the members of the Church Council.  In addition, the pastor or interim pastor must be present, except when the pastor or interim pastor requests or consents to be absent and has given prior approval to the agenda for a particular regular or special meeting, or with the consent of the Bishop or Dean.  In such a circumstance, the Church Council may not conduct any business beyond that which was included on the agenda as approved by the pastor, interim pastor, Bishop or Dean, as applicable.  Chronic or repeated absence of the pastor or interim pastor who has refused approval of the agenda of a subsequent regular or special meeting shall not preclude action by the Church Council.

Chapter 13.


13.01.      The officers of this congregation and the pastor shall constitute the Executive Committee.

13.02.      A Nominating Committee of four (4) voting members of this congregation, one of whom shall be a member or outgoing member of the Church Council, shall be elected by the Church Council for a term of one year.  Members of the Nominating Committee are not eligible to serve consecutive terms. 

13.03.      An Audit Committee of three (3) voting members shall be elected by the Church Council.  Audit Committee members shall not be members of the Church Council.  Term of office shall be three years, with one member elected each year.  Members shall be eligible for reelection.

13.04.      A Staff Support Committee may be appointed jointly by the president and the pastor.  Term of office shall be two years.

13.05.      When a pastoral vacancy occurs, a Call Committee of six (6) voting members shall be elected by the Church Council. Term of office will terminate upon installation of the newly called pastor.

13.06.      Other committees of this congregation may be formed, as the need arises, by decision of the Church Council.

13.07.      Duties of committees of this congregation shall be specified in the bylaws or continuing resolutions.

13.08.      The  pastor(s) of this congregation shall be ex officio member(s) of all committees of the congregation.

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