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Constitution and Bylaws

Constitution and Bylaws

Constitution and Bylaws

Constitution of Immanuel Lutheran Church — Joplin, Missouri | Adopted May 18, 2003, Bylaws Amended September 3, 2006 and May 2, 2010.

Constitution and Bylaws 1

“The Word of God requires that a Christian congregation shall conform to the Divine Word in doctrine and practice and that all things be done decently and in order.”

Download a PDF version of our Constitution HERE.

Table of Contents

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CONSTITUTION

Amended and Approved on May 2, 2010.

PREAMBLE

The Word of God requires that a Christian congregation shall conform to the Divine Word in doctrine and practice (Ps. 119:105; Matt. 28:18-20; Gal. 1:6-8; 2 Tim. 4:105) and that all things be done decently and in order (Cor. 14:40).  Therefore we, the members of Immanuel Lutheran Church, accept and subscribe to the following Constitution and Bylaws, in accordance with which all spiritual and material affairs of our Congregation shall be governed.

1.0  NAME

The name of this Congregation shall be Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church of Joplin, Jasper county, Missouri.

2.0  PURPOSES

The purpose of this Congregation shall be to give honor and glory to the triune God, to carry out His will, to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all the world, to manifest the unity of our faith in Jesus Christ as God and Savior, to foster Christian fellowship and love, to extend a helping hand in human need, and to achieve our objectives by the preaching of the Word of God, by the administration of the sacraments, and by the religious instruction of all its members according to the confessional standard of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

3.0  CONFESSIONAL STANDARD

This Congregation accepts without reservation:

3.1 The Scriptures of the Old and the New Testament as the written Word of God and the only rule and norm of faith and of practice.

3.2 All the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church as a true and unadulterated statement and exposition of the Word of God, to wit: the three Ecumenical Creeds (the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed), the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the Smalcald Articles, the Large Catechism of Luther, the Small Catechism of Luther, and the Formula of Concord.

4.0  MEMBERSHIP

4.1 Types of Membership

The membership of this Congregation includes the following:

4.1.1 Baptized members are all who have been baptized in the name of the Triune God and who are under the spiritual care of the pastor of this Congregation, including the children who have not yet been confirmed.

4.1.2 Communicant members are those baptized members who have been confirmed in the Lutheran faith, accept the confessional standard of Section 3.0 of this  constitution, are familiar with the contents of Luther’s Small Catechism, and are  not members of organizations whose principles and conduct conflict with the Word of God.

4.1.3 Voting members are communicant members who have reached the age of 18 years.

4.2 Reception

Baptized and communicant members are received through the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, through the consent of one or both parents or legal guardian in the case of children who have been baptized in another Christian congregation, through the rite of confirmation, through transfer from a sister congregation, or through profession of faith or reaffirmation of faith. The reception shall be approved by the Church Council.

4.3 Duties

Members of the Congregation shall conform their entire lives to the rule of God’s Word and to that end make diligent use of the means of grace, exercise faithful stewardship of God’s many gifts and talents, impart and accept fraternal admonition as the need of such admonition becomes apparent, and be readily available for service in the kingdom of Christ within and beyond the Congregation.

4.4 Termination

4.4.1 Members who die or request release have terminated their membership. 

4.4.2 Communicant members in good standing may have their memberships transferred by the pastor to a sister congregation upon their request.  Such transfer shall be reported to the Church Council for approval at its next meeting.

4.4.3 Communicant members who join congregations outside of our fellowship thereby terminate their membership.  Their names shall be removed from the membership list by resolution of the Church Council.

4.4.4 Communicant members whose whereabouts are unknown and whose addresses cannot be established shall have their names removed by resolution of the Church Council.

4.4.5 Communicant members who conduct themselves in an unchristian manner shall be admonished according to Matthew 18:15-20 and may be subject to disciplinary action.  In all disciplinary cases, the Congregation will follow its written and adopted guidelines.  If the members remain impenitent after proper admonition, they shall be excommunicated. If such members deliberately absent themselves from the meetings at which their cases are to be discussed, or in some other manner make it impossible to deal with them, they thereby excommunicates themselves.  Each case shall be presented individually to the Church Council for action.  Appeal of Council action may be made to a general meeting of the voters assembly.

4.4.6 A persons whose communicant membership has been terminated, for any cause, has forfeited all the rights of a member of this Congregation and all claims upon the property of the Congregation as such, or upon any part thereof, so long as that person is not reinstated into membership.

5.0  CALLED CHURCH WORKERS

5.1 This Congregation has the exclusive right to call ordained ministers, that is Pastors, and commissioned ministers, which includes Teachers, Directors of Christian Education, Directors of Christian Outreach, Deaconesses, Parish Assistants, Certified Lay Ministers and any other church workers rostered by the Synod.

5.2 The pastoral office shall be conferred only on such a pastor or candidate who professes and adheres to the confessional standard set forth in this constitution, who is qualified for his work, who has been endorsed by the Synod, and who is a member of the Synod.  The same shall apply to all commissioned ministers.

5.3 Any ordained or commissioned minister may be removed from office by the voters assembly by a two-thirds majority ballot vote, in Christian and lawful order, for one or more of the following reasons: persistent adherence to false doctrine, scandalous life, willful neglect, or inability to perform the duties of the office.

5.4 In case of a vacancy in the office of an ordained or commissioned minister, the Congregation shall notify the president of the District so that he may assist in temporarily filling the vacancy and also give assistance in regard to the calling of a new ordained or commissioned minister.

6.0  AUTHORITY OF THE CONGREGATION

6.1 The voters assembly shall be the governing body of this Congregation and shall be empowered to administer and manage all its affairs.  The establishment and conduct of all organizations and societies within the Congregation or related directly to it shall be subject to the approval and supervision of the voters assembly.

6.2 Matters of doctrine and conscience, shall be decided only on the basis of the Word of God.  All other matters shall be decided by a majority vote of the voters assembly unless otherwise specified by this constitution or bylaws.

6.3 The right of calling ordained or commissioned ministers, and approving the annual  budget, shall be vested in the voters assembly and shall not be delegated otherwise.

6.4 Final decisions regarding the erection of buildings and the purchase or sale of property shall be made only by a two-thirds majority vote of the voters assembly.

7.0  OFFICERS AND BOARDS

7.1 The officers and boards of this Congregation shall be those described in the bylaws.

7.2 Removal from Office

7.2.1 Any officer or board member may be removed from office by the voters assembly by a two-thirds majority ballot vote, in Christian and lawful order, for one of the following reasons: persistent adherence to false doctrine, scandalous  life, willful neglect, or inability to perform the duties of the office. 

8.0  SYNODICAL MEMBERSHIP

This Congregation shall be a member of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod as long as the Synod conforms to the Congregation’s confessional standards set forth in this constitution as determined by a two-thirds majority vote of the Congregation at a meeting called for that purpose.

9.0  DIVISION

9.1 If at any time a division should take place for any reason, the property of the Congregation and all benefits connected therewith shall remain with those communicant members who continue to adhere in confession and practice to the confessional standards set forth in this constitution, as determined by the dispute resolution process described in the bylaws of the Synod.

9.2 In the event the Congregation should dissolve, the property and all rights connected therewith shall be transferred to that District of the Synod in which the Congregation held membership at the time of dissolution.

10.0  VOTERS’ MEETINGS (THE VOTERS ASSEMBLY)

10.1 Regular meetings of the voters assembly shall be held as determined in the bylaws.  Announcement of the meeting shall be made in the services of the two previous Sundays. 

10.2 Special meetings require announcement in services in the two previous Sundays or notification by mail and announcement in the services of one previous Sunday.  Such special meetings may be called at the request of the pastor, or Church Council, or chairman of the Church Council, or of ten (10) voting members.

10.3 Ten percent of the voting members (see 4.1.3) present at a properly called meeting shall constitute a quorum of the voters assembly.

11.0  LIMITATIONS ON HOLDING OFFICE

All voting members of this Congregation are eligible for elected office, with the exception that only male members are eligible for offices that involve the functions of the pastoral office (preaching, the public administration of the sacraments, and church discipline).  Accordingly, only male voting members may serve as Pastor, President, Vice-president and Elder.

12.0  AMENDMENTS

12.1 Amendments to provisions of this constitution except Section 2.0, 3.0, 5.0, 8.0 and 12.0 may be adopted at a regular voters’ meeting, except as hereinafter provided:

1. That the proposed amendment has been submitted in writing at a previous meeting of the voters assembly and published by posting in a conspicuous place in the church or by mail to all communicant members of the Congregation prior to the meeting at which the proposed amendment will be acted upon.

2. That an affirmative vote of a two-thirds majority of the voters present is secured.

12.2 In addition to the above requirements, proposals to amend Sections 2.0, 3.0, 5.0, 8.0 and 12.0 shall require that previous notice of such amendment and discussion of the same shall be presented at two regular meetings of the voters assembly before the meeting at which the proposed amendment is to receive action.  Due notice of the fact that a vote will be taken shall be given to all voting members of the Congregation.  Any changes in these articles shall not destroy the essential meaning of the same.  Whether or not this has occurred shall be decided, if challenged, by a decision by the dispute resolution process described in the bylaws of the Synod.

13.0  INTERPRETATION

The Church Council is authorized to interpret this constitution by majority vote.  Any challenge to an interpretation shall be decided by the voters assembly.


BYLAWS

14.0  PROCEDURES FOR CALLING ORDAINED AND COMMISSIONED MINISTERS

14.1 When a pastor or a commissioned minister is to be called, every member of the Congregation shall have the privilege of making one or more nominations.  The Congregation shall also ask the President of the Missouri District for recommendations. The Church Council shall serve as a nominating committee for pastors and commissioned ministers.  In the case of pastoral call, that responsibility may be assigned to the Board of Elders.  In the case of the call of a commissioned minister, that responsibility may be assigned to the Board of Elders or to the School Board, as appropriate. 

14.2 In the screening process the respective board or committee shall submit all names to the Missouri District President for information and evaluation.  After receiving information and recommendations from the District President, the respective board or committee shall present to the Congregation by means of a public announcement, the list of preferred candidates, together with a biographical sketch of each.

14.3 At the meeting of the voters assembly, called for the purpose of electing a new pastor or commissioned minister, the preferred list may be amended by means of a two-thirds vote of those present.  At that point the voters assembly shall be asked to approve the list.

14.4 Balloting shall proceed by means of a secret ballot vote.  A two-thirds vote is needed in order to determine the disposition of the call.

14.5 The election shall, if possible, be made unanimous by a rising vote, and the call shall be sent to the pastor or commissioned minister.  The call shall be signed by the presiding pastor, the President and the Secretary of the Congregation and, as appropriate, by the Chief Elder or chairperson of the Christian Day School Board.

15.0  CHURCH COUNCIL 

15.1 Membership

The Church Council shall be the board of directors and shall consist of the President, Vice-president, and Secretary of the Congregation, the Chief Elder, the Financial Secretary, and chairpersons of the following boards: Assimilation, Christian Day School, Christian Education, Evangelism, Finance, Property Maintenance, Stewardship, and Youth. The pastor(s), the Treasurer, and the principal of the Christian Day School, as well as other commissioned ministers, designated by the voters assembly, shall be advisory, nonvoting, members of the Church Council.  The President and Secretary of the Congregation shall serve as chairman and secretary of the Church Council.

15.2 Meetings

The Church Council shall ordinarily meet at a designated time each month.  Every Church Council meeting shall be announced by word or in the bulletin at a Sunday Service prior to it.  Special meetings may be called by the chairman or pastor or any three members of the Church Council by informing each member at least 24 hours in advance.  A majority of the voting members of the council shall constitute a quorum.

15.3 Duties 

It shall be the principal duty of the Church Council to coordinate the programs and activities of the various departments of the Congregation.  It shall have the authority to act on behalf of the Congregation between meetings of the voters assembly.  That authority is limited by the decisions of the voter assembly and by the constitution and bylaws.  Consequently, any decision of the Church Council may be appealed to the voters assemblyAt the regular spring meeting of the voters assembly, the Church Council shall recommend, for consideration and action, a congregational budget for the next fiscal year.

15.4 Nominations, Elections, and Appointments

5.4.1 In August, the Church Council shall appoint a nominating committee, chaired by the Vice President and including four additional members only one of whom may be a member of the Church Council.  After consulting with the senior pastor and reviewing  input from sources such as Time and Talent Surveys, the committee, by majority vote, shall prepare a slate of candidates for all elected offices, except Treasurer, and present the slate to the Church Council.  The Church Council shall submit the slate to the Congregation at least two weeks prior to the elections.  The slate shall normally consist of two names for each elected office.  Additional nominations may be made from the floor.  No person shall be nominated without his or her consent.

15.4.2 All officers shall be elected by a majority ballot vote.  If a majority vote is not achieved, the name of the candidate receiving the lowest number of votes shall be eliminated in each succeeding ballot and voting shall continue until a majority has been established.

15.4.3 For terms beginning in odd-numbered years, elections shall be for one office at a time, in the order President, Vice-president, Chief Elder, Financial Secretary and chairpersons of the following boards: Assimilation, Christian Education, Finance, and Property Maintenance, and for terms beginning in even numbered years, in the order President, Vice-president, Secretary, and chairpersons of the following boards: Christian Day School, Evangelism, Stewardship, and Youth. 

15.4.4 Officers must be members of the voters assembly.  The President and Vice-president are elected for a term of one year and may be elected to one consecutive term in either of these two offices but in no other.  With the exception of the Treasurer, the other members of the Church Council shall be elected for a term of two years and may not be elected to a consecutive term on the Church Council.

15.4.5 In the fall meeting of the voters assembly, the Church Council shall recommend the name of an individual to serve as Treasurer for the next calendar year.  A majority vote of the voters present and voting shall constitute election of the individual for a one-year term as Treasurer.  There is no limit to the number of consecutive terms a Treasurer may serve.

15.4.6 Officers and board members shall be inducted into office in a public service of the Congregation.

15.4.7 As part of their responsibilities, elected officers are expected to attend all meetings of the Church Council.  If illness or other reasons result in excess absences, the Church Council, by majority vote, may counsel the officer to resign. 

15.4.8 In case of a vacancy in an elective office, other than the President, the Church Council, by majority vote, shall fill the vacancy for the balance of the term.  An appointee who fills a vacant office for less than one year is eligible for election to fill the next term of the same office.

15.5 Working Boards 

Prior to the January meeting of the Church Council, those council members requiring assistance in fulfilling their official duties (i.e. all except the President, Vice-president, and Secretary) will scan applicable listings, such as the congregational membership directory and the Time and Talent Survey, for likely candidates, both men and women, to serve on their boards.  With counsel from the outgoing chairpersons and the pastor(s) and Christian Day School principal, as appropriate, they will prepare a list of the names of individuals they recommend to serve on their boards.  At the January meeting of the Church Council, or as soon thereafter as possible, these names shall be presented to the Church Council for its appointment and for inclusion in its permanent records.  Generally, no person shall serve on more than one working board at one time.

16.0  OFFICIAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF OFFICERS AND DUTIES OF BOARDS

Shall be as follows in sections 17.0 to 31.0:

17.0  PRESIDENT

The President shall preside and provide printed agenda at the meetings of the Church Council and voters assembly.  As president, he shall be an Elder and an ex-officio member of all boards and committees.  He shall serve as a member of the Board of Trustees, shall order an annual review of all the insurance needs of the Congregation, and shall be responsible for assuring that all bonding requirements in the bylaws are met.  At the end of the fiscal year, he shall order an audit of the books of the Treasurer, the Christian Day School, the Feed My Sheep Endowment Fund, and of any other applicable agencies, such as those of the Board of Christian Education and Youth Board.

18.0  VICE-PRESIDENT

The Vice-president shall perform the duties of the President in the latter’s absence, or at the President’s request.  In the event of a vacancy in the office of the President, the Vice-president shall succeed to the office of the President for the remainder of the term.  He shall serve as an Elder, as Parliamentarian, and as chairman of the nominating committee.  Immediately after the election of officers in the fall meeting, he will provide a copy of the constitution and bylaws to each newly elected officer.  In consultation with the President, he shall assure that the Church Council carries out the responsibilities and schedules assigned to it by the constitution and bylaws .

19.0  SECRETARY

The Secretary shall keep accurate minutes of the meetings of the Church Council and of meetings of the voters assembly for the permanent records of the Congregation and shall assure that the minutes are published in the monthly newsletter.  The Secretary shall perform other duties in keeping with this office.  The Secretary shall also serve as a member of the Board of Trustees.

20.0  TREASURER

The Treasurer shall have for safe keeping all commercial and other valuable papers of the Church.  He or she shall have charge of the general treasury, keep an account of all receipts and disbursements, pay all bills authorized by the Congregation or the Church Council.  The Treasurer shall provide a monthly financial report to the Church Council and an annual financial report to the Congregation.  The Treasurer shall also serve as a member of the Board of Trustees.  Each check for a disbursement requires a second signature in addition to that of the Treasurer.  The second signature, shall be that of the President, Vice-president, or of some other individual, officially designated by the Church Council.  In the absence of the Treasurer, the President or Vice-president shall have the authority to sign checks in place of the Treasurer.  The Treasurer shall be subject to a surety bond, for which the Congregation shall pay the premium.

21.0  BOARD OF TRUSTEES

The President, the Secretary, and the Treasurer shall constitute the Board of Trustees.  It shall be the duty of the Trustees to administer all property belonging to the Congregation, to make contracts, accept and receive grants and bequests, sign documents, appear in court, and to transact all business assigned to them by the voters assembly or Church Council.  The Trustees are members of the board of the Feed My Sheep Endowment Fund.  The Trustees shall have access to all safety deposit boxes of the Congregation.

22.0  FINANCIAL SECRETARY

The Financial Secretary shall prepare and maintain a permanent record, of all individual contributions that are identifiable.  He or she shall prepare and distribute statements to all communicant members, at least semiannually.  The statements shall include any notations required by the IRS and other government agencies.  He or she is responsible for ordering the offering envelopes and for assuring that so much as possible all the envelopes are picked up or delivered to their designated recipients, preferably prior to the fiscal year of use.  The Financial Secretary may request the Church Council to appoint as many individuals as are needed to provide assistance.

23.0  BOARD OF ELDERS AND CHIEF ELDER 

The Board of Elders shall consist of the Chief Elder, as chairman, the President, the Vice-president, and eleven elders, recommended together by the Chief Elder and senior pastor and officially appointed by the Church Council.  The pastor(s) shall be an advisory member.  In accord with Matt. 18:15-16, the Chief Elder, President, and Vice-president shall consider complaints and grievances of members of the congregation, and in accord with Matt. 18:17-18, shall report to the Church Council those grievances which cannot be otherwise resolved.  The Chief Elder, President, and Vice-president shall represent the Congregation in sending greetings, commendations, admonitions, or any other messages which may be in order.

It shall be the responsibility of the Chief Elder, President and Vice-president, and the duty of the Board of Elders to:

23.1 Assist the pastor(s) in providing for the spiritual welfare of the Congregation and also in assuring that the whole Word of God is faithfully proclaimed, and that the sacraments rightly administered.

23.2 Assure that the services are conducted in a worshipful, welcoming manner.

23.3 Assist the pastor(s) in the distribution of Communion, when needed.

23.4 Assist the pastor or pastors, if more than one, by annually devoting a portion of at least one Elders’ meeting to in depth discussion and counseling with him or them concerning goals and means for him or them to maximize the performance of his or their pastoral duties.

23.5 Be examples of Christian conduct, particularly by faithful participation in worship, Bible study, and congregational activities.

23.6 Make every effort to encourage members who have been negligent in their attendance at services, in the use of the Sacraments, and in their financial support of the Church, to seek the Lord’s guidance and forgiveness and to fully enjoy the rights and privileges of their membership.

23.7 Assist the pastor(s) in arranging for pulpit assistance, music, special services and guest speakers.

23.8 Appoint a head usher or head ushers, and assist in supervising the ushers.

23.9 Manage its budget.

24.0  BOARD OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION AND CHAIRPERSON 

In addition to the chairperson, the Board of Christian Education shall consist of two advisory members and of whatever additional members the chairperson recommends for appointment by the Church Council.  The pastor or one of the pastors shall be one of the advisory members.  The Church Council shall request the Christian Day School Board to recommend a commissioned minister for appointment as the other one.  The board has the authority to delegate the administration of its educational agencies and work to qualified persons.  The appointments of the Sunday School Superintendent, Director of the VBS, and Scout Leaders are subject to the approval of the Church Council. 

It shall be the responsibility of the chairperson of the Board of Christian Education and the duty of the board to:

24.1 Offer opportunities for spiritual growth and for the strengthening of Christian lives to people of all ages by providing a variety of agencies and means for the study and learning of God’s Word. 

24.2 Help equip parents to provide Christian education for their children.

24.3 Select Christian, comprehensive, balanced, and functional curricula so that the objectives for each agency and age level can be achieved.

24.4 Develop teacher training and leadership programs in the area of Christian education so that the present and future needs of the congregation will be met. 

24.5 Bring to the attention of the Church Council the personnel, facility and equipment needs of the educational agencies for which it is responsible.

24.6 Supervise, subject to the approval of the Church Council, the collection and disbursement of funds received within its educational agencies.

24.7 Review and evaluate its educational agencies and programs, and plan for their improvement on the basis of such regular evaluations.

24.8 Supervise the Scouting Program, if one is sponsored by the Church.

24.9 Manage its budget.

25.0  BOARD OF STEWARDSHIP AND CHAIRPERSON

In addition to the chairperson, the Board of Stewardship shall consist of whatever additional members the chairperson recommends for appointment by the Church Council. It shall be the responsibility of the chairperson of the Board of Stewardship and the duty of the board to:

25.1 Administer an annual program to engage the members in making a Spirit-led commitment of their time, talents, and resources to the support of the Congregation and its organizations.

25.2 Instruct, according to God’s word, the members of the Congregation in the grace of proportionate giving for the purpose of carrying out God’s work in their parish and in the world.

25.3 Give the Congregation a clear vision of the world’s need of Christ and how its members can support that need.

25.4 Fully inform the members of the Congregation about programs and opportunities to lengthen their outreach into all the world through District, Synodical and other means.

25.5 Survey the talents of the church members and enlist the members in the programs of the Congregation.

25.6 Assist in training lay workers for stewardship programs.

25.7 Sponsor within the Congregation and it’s organizations, stewardship and mission talks, discussions, conferences, exhibits, etc.

25.8 Work in cooperation with the Circuit and District Stewardship committees.

25.9 Manage its budget.

26.0  BOARD OF EVANGELISM AND CHAIRPERSON

In addition to the chairperson, the Board of Evangelism shall consist of whatever additional members the chairperson recommends for appointment by the Church Council.  

It shall be the responsibility of the chairperson of the Board Evangelism and the duty of the board to:

26.1 Plan, promote, and implement an evangelism program in the Congregation and in the community.

26.2 Arrange for visits with prospective members of the Church.

26.3 Assist the Pastor in training the laity to bring the unchurched to the adult instruction classes.

26.4 Select and supervise the Greeters and Hosts for Sunday services.

26.5 Plan and supervise religious surveys in the congregation and in the community.

26.6 Maintain records needed to actively monitor and implement the evangelism programs.

26.7 Discover the needs, in the field of social welfare, of individuals and families within the Congregation, especially of the aged, of the sick, and of the poor and to report these needs to the Church Council with suggestions for action by the Congregation.

26.8 Call to the attention of the Congregation welfare agencies established by the District and Synod and solicit support for them.

26.9 Call to the attention of the Congregation the social needs of the community and solicit its cooperation with worthy, community agencies that are endeavoring to meet those needs.

26.10 Administer and disburse the Helping Hand Fund. 

26.11 Proclaim the Gospel and publicize the activities of the Congregation by a variety of means.

26.12 Manage its budget.

27.0  FINANCE BOARD AND CHAIRPERSON

In addition to the chairperson, the Finance Board shall consist of whatever additional members the chairperson recommends for appointment by the Church Council.  The chairperson of the Finance Board at least one other member of the board shall be subject to a surety bond, for which the Congregation shall pay the premiums.  At least two, non-related, members of the Finance Board must be present while the receipts are counted.  One of those present must be the chairperson or a bonded individual appointed by vote of the Church Council.

It shall be the responsibility of the chairperson of the Finance Board and the duty of the board to:

27.1 Receive and secure all congregational receipts, and to count, and deposit them in the Congregation’s designated depository as expeditiously as possible.

27.2 Prepare an itemized statement of the receipts for the records of the Treasurer.

27.3 Convey the emptied offering envelopes, marked with the amount of the offering, to the Financial Secretary, along with the total of the envelope receipts.

28.0  PROPERTY MAINTENANCE BOARD AND CHAIRPERSON

In addition to the chairperson, the Property Maintenance Board shall consist of whatever additional members the chairperson recommends for appointment by the Church Council.  The chairperson of the Property Maintenance Board has the authority, to make expenditures for necessary repairs and maintenance.  Expenditures over an amount set by the Church Council require its approval, which in an emergency can be given by the Board of Trustees. 

It shall be the responsibility of the chairperson of the Property Maintenance Board and the duty of the board to:

28.1 Inspect all the physical property of the Church periodically, and to routinely request input concerning maintenance and repairs from the pastor(s) and the Day School principal.

28.2 Report the condition of such properties to the Church Council, and to recommend necessary improvements and repairs.

28.3 Make the improvements and repairs directed by the Church Council or to engage and supervise others to make them. 

28.4 Perform routine maintenance and repairs on the Church properties. 

28.5 Report and certify to the Treasurer all debts incurred by the committee.

29.0  CHRISTIAN DAY SCHOOL BOARD AND CHAIRPERSON

In addition to the chairperson, the Christian Day School Board shall consist of whatever additional members the chairperson recommends for appointment by the Church Council.  At least two members of the board shall be parents of Day School students.  The principal shall serve as an advisory member of the School Board.

It shall be the responsibility of the chairperson of the Christian Day School Board and the duty of the board to:

29.1 Oversee the Congregation’s Christian Day School and its mission of ensuring  that its students are nurtured in their Christian faith, that their God-given abilities are developed by educating the whole child, and that they are prepared for daily living and discipleship.

29.2 Serve as a liaison between the Congregation and the school and between the school and its families to communicate and promote the school’s mission, goals and objectives, and to communicate its policies, accomplishments, needs, and the like to all concerned. 

29.3 Oversee the principal, as administrative head of the school, expect the principal to implement school policies established by the Congregation and Christian Day School Board, and to report regularly to the School Board regarding administrative activity.

29.4 Assist the principal by adopting a list of administrative duties, and by preparing and sharing with him or her an annual evaluation.

29.5 Oversee the selection of appropriate educational materials to ensure that they support and are in accordance with the beliefs and values of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the standards of the school’s accreditation, and the rules and regulations of the State of Missouri.

29.6 Facilitate the calling of commissioned ministers to serve as teachers, employ contract teachers subject to the approval of the Church Council, contract other needed personnel as budgeted for the school, and oversee and support all school workers in their duties.

29.7 Review, annually, all school workers’ salaries and benefits, and recommend needed changes.

29.8 Manage its budget.

30.0  YOUTH BOARD AND CHAIRPERSON

In addition to the chairperson, the Youth Board shall consist of an advisory member and whatever additional members the chairperson recommends for appointment by the Church Council.  If the Congregation has called a pastor or commissioned minister to lead the youth program, he or she shall be the advisory member of the board.  If not, the Church Council shall request, as appropriate, the Board of Elders or the Christian Day School Board to recommend a pastor or commissioned minister for appointment as the advisory member of the board.

It shall be the responsibility of the chairperson of the Youth Board and the duty of the board to:

30.1 Encourage the full participation of all youth and young adults in the worship and sacramental life of the congregation.

30.2 Provide opportunities for spiritual growth, fellowship, and service for all the youth and young adults of our congregation.

30.3 Assist the ex-officio member of the committee, if one exists, and adult counselors, appointed by the committee, in carrying out their duties with the youth and young adults. 

30.4 Act as a liaison between the youth and the Congregation, by communicating to the Church Council the concerns and needs of the youth, and by communicating to the youth the concerns and support of the Congregation.

30.5 Encourage the full participation of all youth and young adults in the organizational life of the Congregation.

30.6 Encourage the interaction of Immanuel youth and young adults with other Christian youth and young adults throughout the community and world.

30.7 Appoint adult counselors, as needed, to lead activities sponsored by the committee.

30.8 Manage its budget.

31.0  BOARD OF ASSIMILATION AND CHAIRPERSON

In addition to the chairperson, the Board of Assimilation shall consist of whatever additional members the chairperson recommends for appointment by the Church Council.  It shall be the responsibility of the chairperson of the Board of Assimilation and the duty of the board to:

31.1 Encourage and facilitate assimilation: the full and joyful participation of each member of the Congregation in the spiritual, service, and fellowship activities of Immanuel Lutheran Church and its organizations.

31.2 Assist in identifying and developing each member’s spiritual gifts, such as evangelism, teaching, care-giving, and musical ability.  

31.3 Gather information from the present members of the Congregation annually and new members as soon as feasible to discover their requests, interests, and concerns in the following areas:

31.3.1 Worship, prayer and Bible study.

31.3.2 Additional services they believe the Congregation should supply.

31.3.3 Their serving on Boards or in other activities of the Congregation and its organizations.

31.3.4 Fellowship activities.

31.4 Obtain from the organizations of the Congregation and, from the Constitution and Bylaws, lists of duties and of special talents and skills needed to carry out those duties, and then, to compile the information and share it with the members of the Congregation.

31.5 Survey the present members of the Congregation annually and new members as soon as feasible to discover who has the special talents or skills needed by the Congregation and its organizations.

31.6 Catalog the information obtained in the surveys and distribute it to appropriate individuals, boards, and organizations for their consideration and use.

31.7 Establish and implement, for new members, a carefully monitored, year-long assimilation program, including in part:

31.7.1 Providing for a formal and an informal reception.

31.7.2 Producing, regularly updating, and distributing an information and resource packet, including the Constitution and Bylaws.

31.7.3 Planning and conducting an orientation meeting, which includes reviewing the Constitution and Bylaws.

31.7.4 Instituting and maintaining an effective New Member Sponsor Program.

31.8 Acquaint the members of the Congregation with each other through such means as providing name tags, making new member posters, administering the preparation of the pictorial directory, and listing members’ professional and vocational services.

31.9 Promote, facilitate, and organize Christian fellowship activities for members of the Congregation and of the community.

31.10 Manage its budget.

32.0  THE FEED MY SHEEP ENDOWMENT FUND

32.1 Name and General Purpose

32.1.1 The Congregation shall have an Endowment Fund.  The name of the fund shall be the Feed My Sheep Endowment Fund, Joplin, MO (hereafter referred to as “the fund”). It shall be one of the funds of the Congregation. 

32.1.2 This purpose of the fund shall be to receive gifts and bequests and to support the missions and ministry of Immanuel Lutheran Church. 

32.2 Endowment Fund Governing Board and Duties

32.2.1 The fund shall be promoted and managed by the Feed My Sheep Endowment Fund Board, which shall consist of the following: 

1. A chairperson recommended by the Church Council and elected annually by the voters assembly, with no limit to terms; 

2. The current Board of Trustees (Congregational President, Secretary, and Treasurer); 

3. The senior pastor of the Congregation;

4. The principal of the Christian Day School;

5. Up to three members recommended by the chairperson, after consultation with the senior pastor and the principal, and appointed by the Church Council.

32.2.2 After the adoption of the fund by the Congregation, the Church Council shall appoint three members to the board: one for a term of three years, one for a term of two years, and one for a term of one year.  All subsequent terms shall be three years.  No appointed member shall serve more than three full or partial consecutive terms.  A former committee member may be reappointed after a lapse of twelve months following completion of a third consecutive term. 

32.2.3 The endowment fund board shall meet at least quarterly to receive and administer gifts, requests, and proposals; plan for fund distributions; and identify means for promoting the fund. 

32.2.4 The officers of the board shall be the board chairperson, Congregational Secretary, and a financial recorder, who is elected by the board, and they shall have the following responsibilities: 

1. The chairperson shall preside at all meetings of the committee. 

2. The Secretary shall maintain complete and accurate records of all fund agreements, as well as minutes of all board meetings and shall submit the records and minutes to the Church Council to be retained as part of the permanent records of the Congregation.

3. The financial recorder shall assist the Treasurer of the Congregation in maintaining complete and accurate books of accounts in the fund.

32.2.5 The Treasurer of the Congregation shall be responsible for receipts by and disbursements from the fund, shall maintain complete and accurate books of account, and shall provide, at least annually, a written financial report of the fund to the voters assembly.

32.2.6 The Treasurer and the board chairperson shall execute all checks and other documents transferring or expending any funds or assets in the fund. 

32.2.7 The endowment fund board shall maintain accounts with financial institutions approved by the Congregation. 

32.2.8 No member of the endowment fund board shall engage in any self-dealing or transactions with the fund in which the member has direct or indirect financial interest and shall at all times refrain from any conduct in which their personal interests would conflict with the interest of the fund. 

32.2.9 Means for acknowledging the receipt of each gift and contribution shall be established and maintained, including, whenever appropriate, a designation of the value ascribed to each gift and the fund category to which the gift has been assigned. 

32.2.10 All contributions to the fund shall be kept and maintained separately, distinctly, and independently from the funds and property otherwise belonging to Immanuel Lutheran Church.  The Congregation shall not be allowed to borrow against the fund or use the fund as collateral for a loan.  However, the endowment fund board shall in no event be required to make physical segregation of the assets of the fund in order to conform to the directions of any donors.  The board may establish separate accounts in its accounting records.

32.2.11 The fund’s records shall be audited at the same time all other records of the treasurer of the Congregation are audited. 

32.2.12 The endowment fund board is expected to inform the members of the Congregation and school families about the purpose of the fund and may periodically arrange for potential donors to meet with the Missouri District Gift Planning Counselor or other professional counselors to discuss charitable giving, wills, bequests, insurance, and other means for contributing to the fund.

32.3 Disbursement of Funds

32.3.1 The board shall recommend disbursement of funds to the Church Council for approval.

32.3.2 None of the income or principal may be disbursed for the standard operating budget of the Congregation or Christian Day School or for any capital campaigns.

32.3.3 The endowment fund board shall report receipts of gifts to the Church Council.

32.3.4 Within two months after the close of the fiscal year, and at such other times as requested by the voters assembly and/or Church Council, a written statement shall be prepared.  It shall accurately reflect the position of the fund’s income and corpus accounts as of a date reasonably close to the date the statement is prepared.  It shall indicate the receipts, disbursements, and changes therein since the fund’s inception or the previous accounting.  The statement shall be submitted to the Church Council.

32.4 Additional Authority 

The endowment fund board shall have the authority to negotiate and execute documents on behalf of the fund; protect fund with insurance against damage, loss, or liability; establish financial accounts for the fund; employ, at the expense of the fund, attorneys, investment counsel, brokers, custodians of assets, and other agents needed to manage the fund and maintain its integrity.

33.0  MARTIN LUTHER SCHOOL

Martin Luther School is a nonprofit, religious, and educational agency which is affiliated with Immanuel Lutheran Church.  Martin Luther School is instituted by Immanuel Lutheran Church as a ministry, whose primary purpose is to carry out the church’s mission of providing Christian-based, day school education beginning at the preschool level for the children of the Congregation and of the community.  Martin Luther School is operated under the authority of the Congregation, which authority is exercised between meetings of the voters assembly by the Church Council.  Supervision of the school, in accord with the Constitution and Bylaws of the church and with the official policies and directives of the Congregation, is entrusted to the Christian Day School Board.

34.0  IMMANUEL LUTHERAN YOUTH MINISTRIES, INC.

Immanuel Lutheran Youth Ministries, Inc. is a nonprofit, religious, and educational corporation that is affiliated with Immanuel Lutheran Church.  It is instituted by Immanuel Lutheran Church as a ministry, whose primary purpose is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with youth and to help them begin and develop a personal relationship with Him.  In addition, the youth are to have Christian fellowship with other youth, receive Christian teaching, and be involved in Christian Youth Ministry and Outreach.  The general purposes of the Corporation are to operate solely and exclusively as a religious, charitable, and educational organization within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  Immanuel Lutheran Youth Ministries, Inc. is operated under the authority of the voters’ assembly, as governing body.  This authority is exercised between meetings of the governing body by the Church Council, whose members, as appropriate, are elected or appointed by the governing body to serve as the Board of Directors of the Corporation

35.0  MEETINGS OF THE VOTERS ASSEMBLY

The voters assembly shall meet at least twice a year and at additional times when called.  One meeting shall be held in the spring and deal primarily with approval of the budget for the next fiscal year and one in the fall and deal primarily with election of officers for the following calendar year.

36.0  RULES OF ORDER

In conducting meetings, the word of God laid down in Scripture shall be followed, and the principles and practices in the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall be used as guides.

37.0  AMENDMENTS

These bylaws may be amended in a properly convened meeting of the voters assembly by a majority of all voting members present, provided the proposed change has been announced in a previous meeting of the voters assembly or has been submitted in writing to all communicant members at least two weeks prior to the meeting.