The Constitution of
St John’s Lutheran Church
Hubbell, MI 49934
The word of God requires that a Christian congregation shall conform to this Divine Word in doctrine and in practice (Ps. 199:105; Matt.28:18-20; Gal. 1:6-8; 2 Tim. 4:1-5) and that all things be done decently and in order (1 Cor. 14:40). Therefore, we the members of St. John’s Ev. 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.
Article I Name and Affiliation
The name of this congregation, affiliated with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, shall be St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Hubbell, Mich.
Article II Purpose
The purposes of a congregation are clearly defined in Holy Writ, to-wit:
The establishment and maintenance of the public ministry; public and private administration of the means of grace; due application of the church discipline. (Matthew 18; John 20; Acts 20;l I Corinthians 5; I Peter 5, etc.)
To this end we obligate ourselves:
A. To conduct regular public worship, in which hymns and church forms of Lutheran content shall be used;
B. To provide pastoral care for all our members, including a thorough indoctrination of children and adults in the Lutheran teachings;
C. To provide for the best possible Christian instruction, using the Bible, and other such textbooks and helps with can assist the Christian Teaching – learning process;
D. To engage in mission work and for this purpose to affiliate with and support to the best of our ability the work of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, so long as said Synod strictly adheres to the confessions referred to in Par. III;
E. To provide the congregational support for our members to help them;
- Recognize and discharge evangelism and social action – responsibilities;
- Become more concerned about fellow members and other of the community;
- Cope with the problems, pressures, challenges and opportunities of living in a modern society;
Article III Confession
This congregation and each individual member thereof, declares unreserved adherence;
A. To all Canonical Books of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God and that the only rule of faith and life;
B. To all symbols of the Evangelical Lutheran Church as found in the Book of Concord of the year 1580, as a true exposition of Holy Writ. These symbols are: The three Ecumenical Creeds (Apostles, Nicene, and Athanasian); the Unaltered Augsburg Confession; the Smalcald Articles, The Small Catechism of Dr Martin Luther; The Large Catechism of Dr. Martin Luther; The Apology of the Augsburg Confession; The formula of Concord.
Article IV Membership
The membership of this congregation includes the following:
A. Baptized Membership
Baptized members are all members who have received Christian baptism.
B. Communicant membership
Communicant members are those:
- Who are baptized in the name of God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost; and have been received in the membership by confirmation, affirmation of faith, or transfer;
- Who accept all canonical books of the Old and New Testaments as the only divine rule and standard of faith and life;
- Who are familiar at least with Luther’s Small Catechism and declare their acceptance of it;
- Who study the Word of God diligently;
- Who worship the Triune God faithfully and regularly;
- Who lead Christian lives and do not live in manifest works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21);
- Who partake of the Lord’s Supper frequently after their confirmation;
- Who contribute regularly and faithfully, as God as prospered them, toward the building of Christ’s Kingdom in the congregation and throughout this world;
- Who devote their time and talents to the extension of the Kingdom of God;
- Who for the sake of love and peace, submit to the decisions of the congregation;
- Who permit themselves to be fraternally admonished and corrected (Matthew 18) when they have erred;
- Who are not members, affiliates, or supporters of any other organization whose purposes, principles, or practices conflict with the Word of God.
C. Voting Membership
All communicant members (irregardless of sex) shall have the right to vote on Congregational matters.
D. Termination of Membership
Baptized and Communicant membership shall be terminated upon:
- Transfer to another congregation;
- Acceptance of another faith;
- Moving permanently from the area;
- Delinquency in Worship and the Lord’s supper;
- A terminated member may be reinstated at the discretion of the pastor.
A person whose membership had been terminated 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 of thereof, so long as he is not reinstated into membership.
Article V Powers of the Congregation
The congregation as a body, through the voting assembly, shall have supreme power to administrator and manage all its external and internal affairs. The establishment and conduct of all institutions and societies within the congregation, such as a Christian day school, Sunday School, youth societies, ladies organizations, choir, etc., shall be at all times subject to the approval and supervision of the congregation. The congregation, however, shall not be empowered to decide any matters contrary to the Word of God and the Confessions of the Lutheran Church (Article III), and any such decisions shall be null and void.
B. Right of Calling
The right of calling pastors or teachers shall be vested in the congregation. The congregation shall exercise this right only through the Voter’s Assembly.
Matters of doctrine or conscience shall be decided by the Word of God; other matters shall be decided by the Voters assembly or by a majority vote unless otherwise specified by the Constitution and Bylaws.
D. Powers of Officers
Congregational Officers of committees, whether elected or appointed by the voters, shall have no authority beyond that which had been conferred upon them, and whatever power may have been delegated to them may at any time be altered or revoked by the Voters’ Assembly.
E. Removal from Office
Any officer, pastor or teacher may be removed from office by the congregation by a two-thirds ballot vote, in Christian and Lawful order, for one of the following causes: Persistent adherence to false doctrine, scandalous life, inability to perform his official duties, or persistent neglect of them.
Article VI Property Rights
If at any time a separation shall take place on account of doctrine, the property of the congregation and all benefits therewith connected shall remain with those communicant members who continue to adhere to the confessional stand of Article III. If the division takes place for any other reason, the property shall remain with the majority of the communicant members.
Article VII Pastoral Office
The pastoral office in this congregation shall be conferred upon such ministers and ministerial candidates only as:
a. declare their acceptance of, and adherence to, all the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God, and all the symbols of the Evangelical Lutheran Church enumerated in Par. III.;
b. Possess in sufficient measure the qualifications of a minister of the Gospel as prescribed in Holy Writ;
c. Have been declared qualified by the Synod; (Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod)
d. Are properly called by the congregation in a regular or special meeting which has been duly announced;
All of this applies in due measure to the professionally trained workers the congregation might call.
Article VIII Other Officers
The congregation shall elect from its eligible membership:
a. Three or more trustees;
b. A chairman;
c. A secretary;
d. A Treasurer;
e. A Financial Secretary;
f. other such officers as may be necessary.
Women are eligible for all offices except that of chairman and Trustees. The time of holding office, the mode of electing officers, and any further rules pertaining to them shall be fixed in the By-laws of this Constitution.
Article IX Doctrinal Literature
Only such hymns, prayers, and liturgies shall be used in the public services of the confessional standard of Article III and resound to God’s glory. Likewise, in all classes for instruction in Christian doctrine, only such books shall be used as conform to this standard.
Article X Amendments
A. Unalterable Article
Article III of this Constitution shall be unalterable and irrepealable.
Amendments to this constitution and the by-laws may be adopted at a regular Voters Assembly, provided:
- That they do not conflict with any section of any other article that pertains to Scriptural doctrine and practice and
- That the proposed amendment has been submitted in writing at a previous Voters Assembly.
The affirmative vote of the two-thirds majority of the voting membership present at the Voters’ Assembly shall be required for the adoption of an amendment.
I. Meetings of the Congregation
- The Annual Meeting of the Congregation shall be held in January. At this meeting, Annual reports of the pastor and Treasurer shall be presented. Annual reports of the various organizations may also be presented. Any necessary appointments or assignments may be made at this time. The members present at a duly called meeting shall constitute a quorum.
- Voter’s meetings shall be held on the First Wednesday of each month unless otherwise specified. Officers shall be elected at the October meeting and installed at a regular church service in January.
- Special Meeting may be called by the pastor or president with consent of the church officers. Such meetings and their purpose shall be announced in at least one public service.
- Individual members shall submit to whatever the majority may resolve in meetings called and held in conformity with this constitution. The congregation has no authority, however, to resolve or order anything that is contrary to the Word of God and the symbols of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. All resolutions passed in violations of the above will be null and void.
II. Terms of Office
- The Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Financial Secretary shall be elected for a one year term.
- Trustees shall be elected for three year staggered terms.
III. Duties of Officers
- Chairman: The Chairman shall preside at all meetings of the congregation and see to it that all meetings are conducted in a orderly and Christian manner.
- Secretary: The Secretary shall keep an accurate record of the transactions of all meetings, submit the minutes to the congregation at the next meeting for approval, and attend to the correspondence of the congregation.
- Treasurer: The Treasurer shall receive all monies of the congregation and deposit them promptly in the financial institutions designated by the congregation as depositories for its funds. He shall keep an account of all monies, he shall make payments as authorized by the Church Council; and shall keep a file of all receipts and vouchers for payments made. He shall submit a detailed report of all receipts and disbursements at the Annual Meeting, and provide all requested reports at Monthly Meetings, and as requested by authorized officials. He should also provide the Church Council with the status of all outstanding obligations of the Congregation.
- Financial Secretary: The Financial Secretary shall keep a record of the numbers on the offering envelopes to the account of the Individual contributor. An annual report shall be available to each envelope contributor. (In absence of the Financial Secretary these duties shall be performed by the Treasurer until that time when we have a Financial Secretary.)
- Trustee: The Trustees shall be the legal representatives of the congregation and the custodians of all its property, including all valuable papers, as deeds, documents, insurance policies, certificates of incorporation, etc. They shall keep a record of all transactions and submit an annual report. They shall make loans for the congregation when authorized by the congregation to do so, represent it in all legal matters and see to that the pastor and teachers are properly supported. The Trustees shall give assistance to the pastor and shall help him promote the welfare of the congregation, assist in preserving the peace and admonishing erring members. In public worship they shall render the necessary assistance at the altar, receive the offerings, and welcome visitors and strangers.
All officers of the congregation shall set a good example in Christian conduct.
Congregational Treasurer shall be bonded.
III Order of Business
- Meetings are be opened with scripture lesson and prayer.
- Reading and acceptance of minutes of previous meeting.
- Report of Treasurer.
- Report of committees and action thereon.
- Unfinished business.
- Report of pastor.
- Report of Trustees.
- Other business properly coming before the meeting.
- Adjournment with prayer.