Our Church Council has called a Congregational meeting for December 17th at 11:15 AM for the purpose of addressing matters related to our church organization structure. We are asking that our members vote to approve the recommended Constitution and Bylaws. Below are comments from leaders who have been involved in the review process. Then comes a copy of the recommended Constitution and Bylaws.
“The revisions of the church governing documents were done by a group of people who care very deeply about this church. These people actively sought and incorporated this congregation’s input. The revisions resolve document conflicts while providing an enhanced organizational structure with more focused ministries. We believe that these revisions make sense We believe that these revisions make sense. We ask you to join us in supporting them. Thank you.” Thomas Dunn, Board Director and Vice Chair, Roslyn Dunn, church member
I believe the recommended changes will make for a more efficient organizational structure and clear lines of ownership. I have always been concerned about the size and unwieldiness of the Diaconate and the fact that there were a number of organizations that didn't seem to report to anyone!! Bruce Quinn, Co-Chair, Music Committee
“These documents are the result of a committee established by the Church Council, input from Church members, and reviewed and approved by outside counsel familiar with non-profit religious corporations such as ours.
The proposed Constitution preserves our present Statement of Faith and all references to the responsibilities and duties of the Senior Minister as found in our documents adopted in 2012.
The proposed Constitution was approved by unanimous vote of the Church Council and the new By-laws by unanimous vote of the Board of Directors on November 14. 2017.
The proposed documents deserve your attention and most importantly your support at the special congregational meeting called for December 17, 2017.”
Chuck Jervis, Vice Moderator; Betty Jervis, Deacon
I believe that at this time, it is appropriate to consider and pass proposed ByLaw changes. I feel that the proposed changes are necessary to support our growing and changing church, our church members, and our staff. I fully support proposed changes and look forward to an exciting and productive year and future at First Congregational Church.” Lori Hovren, Parish Associate
“I have read the new corrections. I appreciate all the help that has been given to making the few changes. I sincerely hope and pary we can move on after the vote.” Al Waner, Board Director
I’m very much in favor of passing the proposed changes to the Constitution and By-laws. When I first came to FCCR I tried to understand the church administrative structure by reading the existing 2012 Constitution and the Policies and Procedures. In doing so, I found there was no structure at all. Rather, I found a confusing mixture of standalone entities with no coherent hierarchy. This, I thought, must be hard to administer. The proposed changes to the Constitution primarily consist of a reorganization that addresses this situation. The proposed structure of boards and committees is very clear, and makes it simple to determine who is responsible for what, and who is accountable to whom. In this structure, everyone at every level will know where to go with a problem. Each activity will have a home. It also opens the door for more participation by volunteers in the day to day activities of the committees headed up by the Board of Deacons, and unambiguously defines the responsibilities of the Board of Directors. No change is ever easy, and big changes are downright hard to make. Nevertheless, while I have no doubt there will be issues getting this structure up and running, I am also confident that in the end it will be far more effective than what we have now. I ask you to please vote in favor of these changes.” Dane Vose, Vice Chair of Diaconate
“Our current organization is not working--not enough volunteers in the entire church to fill all the boards and committees required by our current bylaws. So, organizational change is necessary. A lot of smart people have drafted a good solution. Let's give the new constitution a try. Not often these days do we get a chance to try something without a cost consequence. If we find it needs subsequent modifications, we can do changes until we get it right. But we must start somewhere, and this proposed organization looks very good to me.” Monte Stuck, Deacon
“It is of extreme importance to me that the church adopt the proposed changes of our Constitution/By Laws. This will enable the Diaconate and permanent committees towork together with a more reasonable number of people, producing more efficiency and cohesiveness. This is my second full term serving on the nominating committee. There's been continued difficulty in filling the committee positions under the current constitution. Many of the same members have served time and time again. Time is of the essence with this re-organization to be voted on Sunday, December 17.” Chris Lyford, Nominating Committee Chair
“The proposed new FCC Constitution & Bylaws have been reviewed and I believe that they are legally compliant and well written. Assuming no significant changes, I am willing speak in support their adoption when presented.” J. E. Holmes, III, member
"I believe that a solid structure is the basis for a healthy organization, and our new documents will provide that much needed structure. “ Suzy Morgan, Board Chair
"Most of this is just common sense. As a director, and particularly with Norma's time as a chair of the Nominating Committee, we believe we really do need to make our committees reflect the realities of our church." Bob Clarke, Board Director
“I greatly hope that our congregational membership votes to accept our new Constitution on December 17. Nearly one year has passed since the first constitutional changes were put forth, with many members diligently working hard these past months to make today's wording legally correct and right with our church. We all had a chance for input. There may still be need for fine tuning, but we will have a chance to see how everything works, and can then make additional changes as we discover the necessity. Meanwhile, we need to move forward, knowing that the fine leadership of our congregation worked so hard for all of us. I think the time has come for us to be positive and move forward by affirming this Constitution.” Nelda Stuck, Deacon
By Laws of
The First Congregational Church of Redlands
The corporate powers of this corporation shall be vested in a board of nine (9) directors who shall be active members of this Church and a majority of said board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
Election of Directors
One-third (3) of the directors shall be elected at the annual meeting of the members to serve for three (3) years and until the election of their successors. The term of office shall begin immediately after their election. After serving a regular term, a Board member may be elected to a second term. After serving two consecutive terms, a Board member will be ineligible for re-election to the Board of Directors for a period of one year.
Vacancies in the Board of Directors shall be filled by a majority vote of the Board. Such persons shall hold office for the balance of the current year until they or their successor is elected at an annual congregational meeting for the balance of the vacated term.
The members of the corporation shall be those active members as defined in this Church Constitution.
Officers of the Corporation
At the annual meeting of the Board of Directors, the directors shall elect officers for the Corporation. The officers are President (Chairperson), Vice President (Vice Chairperson), Treasurer and Secretary of the Corporation. However, the Treasurer for the corporation shall be elected by the members of this Church. The President and Vice President must be members of the Board of Directors. All officers of the Corporation must be members of this Church.
- Shall preside over all meetings of the Board of Directors
- Shall sign as President all contracts and other documents, which shall first have been approved by the Board of Directors.
- Shall call special meetings of the Board of Directors whenever it is deemed necessary in addition to the regularly scheduled meetings.
The Vice President shall assume the duties of the President in the absence of the President or if the President is unable to act.
As the Governing Body of the Corporation, the Board of Directors will have all authority regarding the corporate matters of this Church except for those matters reserved to the members of the Congregation. This includes all matters relating to the care and custody of Church property and finances except as otherwise provided in this Church Constitution. The Board of Directors shall have fiduciary responsibilities for all monies, investments, and such other gifts as may be given to this Church, except for the Board of Deacons Discretionary Fund.
The Board of Directors shall have power to negotiate on behalf of this Church; to acquire, hold, improve, encumber, exchange, sell, convey, lease or transfer real properties with final authority being granted by vote of the members pursuant to the terms of this Church Constitution. Further, the Board may receive gifts of property, either real or personal, receive bequests and devises of property by will for the sole use of this Church, and otherwise receive property upon trusts, and perform and do all other acts within the State of California to the same extent as a natural person.
The Board of Directors shall choose from its members a Chairperson for the Personnel Committee on an annual basis or as needed. The Personnel Committee shall give advice and support to the Senior Minister in matters of personnel administration. The Personnel Committee shall consist of the Board appointed Chairperson, a Board of Directors’ member, the Moderator, the Senior Minister and a member at large selected by the Board. The Chairperson shall report the actions of the Personnel Committee to the next meeting of the Board of Directors. Approval of the Personnel Committee’s recommendations requires a majority vote of the Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors maintains the exclusive right to hire and terminate all paid employees, exclusive of the Senior Minister. The Senior Minister serves as the Head of Staff, and together with the Personnel Committee makes recommendations to the Board, and implements Board decisions. The duties, titles, compensation, tenures, vacation, rights and privileges of the compensated staff shall be defined by the Board, based on the recommendations of the Senior Minister and Personnel Committee.
Annually, the Board of Directors shall prepare a proposed budget for the ensuing year. This budget is formulated by recommendations of the Senior Minister, Boards, and Permanent Committees and presented to the Church Council for its information, comments and suggestions. Following consideration of the Church Council’s comments and suggestions, this budget shall be published and disseminated for consideration by the members of this Church at least three weeks prior to the Annual Meeting. The Board of Directors shall initiate and conduct an Every-Member Canvass in the best traditions of Christian Stewardship for underwriting the budget.
At the Annual Congregational Meeting, the Board of Directors shall present for adoption, a permanent budget, revised to conform to the anticipated income. Upon its approval by the members, the Board of Directors shall be empowered to make the expenditures and solicit funds necessary to carry out the provisions of the budget. The Board of Directors shall have authority to adjust the budget at its discretion. In the event funds are needed more than the budgeted provisions, the Board of Directors shall advise the Church Council, the Board of Deacons, and the Permanent Committees of the adjustments to the Budget.
The Treasurer shall:
- Keep accurate account of all receipts and disbursements
- Invest endowments, legacies, trust funds and securities in legal investments
- Direct that monies received by this church be allocated according to its required designation
- Have custody of all papers relating to the property of this Church
- Supervise the system of internal control
- Supervise the preparation of accurate financial reports
- Ensure that all required tax reports and corporation reports are accurate and filed on a timely basis
- Observe such restrictions on his/her authority to invest or disburse funds as the Board of Directors may impose
- Submit a report at regular meetings of the Church Council and the Board of Directors
Secretary of the Board of Directors
The Secretary of the Board of Directors shall keep an accurate record of all meetings and preserve all agreements, contracts and other documents executed by the Board of Directors.
Meetings of the members shall be held at the office of the corporation. The annual meeting of the Board of Directors shall be the first meeting following the Annual meeting of the members. Regular meetings of the Board shall be held monthly at the office of the corporation at a time and day to be determined by the Directors. Special meetings may be called by the President, Senior Minister or by three directors.
Ten percent of the congregation’s active members of this Church shall constitute a quorum at the annual or special meetings of this Church.
Amendments to By-Laws
These By-Laws may be amended or revised by a majority vote of the Board of Directors and approved by a two-third (2/3) vote of a quorum of the active members at the annual or special meeting of the congregation.
FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF REDLANDS, CALIFORNIA
ARTICLE I - NAME
The name of this Church shall be the First Congregational Church of Redlands, California, herein after, referred to as “this Church”.
ARTICLE II – PURPOSE, FAITH, GOVERNMENT AND FELLOWSHIP
Section 1 - Purpose
It is the purpose of this Church to develop in individuals a consciousness of their relations and duties to God and all people, to maintain the worship of God, to proclaim the Gospel of Christ, to enlist others as His disciples, to instruct them in His way of life, to inspire them with a love of truth, a passion for righteousness, an enthusiasm for Christian Service and the development of a sense of stewardship with respect to time, talent and treasure.
Section 2 - Faith
This Church accepts the following statement of faith based on the proclamation adopted by the National Council of Congregational Churches on October 25, 1913, except that which is in brackets, as a working basis of its faiths
“We believe in God the Father, infinite in wisdom, goodness and love, and in Jesus Christ, His Son, our God and Savior, Who for us and our salvation lived and died and rose again, and liveth evermore, and in the Holy Spirit, Who taketh the things of Christ and revealeth them to us, renewing, comforting, and inspiring the souls of men. We are united in striving to know the will of God, as taught in the Holy Scriptures, and in our purpose to walk in the ways of the Lord, made known or to be made known to us. We hold it to be the mission of the Church of Christ to proclaim the gospel to all mankind exalting the worship of the one true God and laboring for the progress of knowledge, the promotion of justice, the reign of peace, and the realization of human brotherhood. Depending as did our fathers, upon the continued guidance of the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth, we work and pray (for the transformation of the world into the Kingdom of God), and we look with faith for the triumph of righteousness and the life everlasting”.
Section 3 - Government
The government of this Church is vested in the active members who compose it. It is an independent ecclesiastical body in the matters of doctrine, order and discipline, amendable to no other organization and possessing under Christ, its Head, full power of self-government. Affiliation or association with or membership in any religious, ecclesiastical or denominational organization whose policy, constitution, or by-laws makes this Church answerable to it or in any way diminishes the inherent autonomy of this Church shall be, only by vote of the active members of this Church, in accordance with Article IX, Section 4 and Article X - Amendments.
Section 4 - Fellowship
This Church receives the Holy Scriptures as its authority in matters of faith and conduct. It acknowledges its spiritual union with the Holy Christian Church in all lands and times and its part in the common duty of all Christian Churches toward the ideal of the Kingdom of God. It will therefore seek and extend that fellowship and cooperation with other Christian churches that will best serve the end for which this Church exists.
ARTICLE III - MEMBERSHIP
Section 1 - Qualifications
All persons who manifest a sincere purpose to lead a Christian life, giving satisfactory evidence of Christian character and having subscribed to our Statement of Faith, may be received into membership by the decision of the Board of Deacons. There shall be two classes of membership: active and inactive. The Church Clerk shall maintain the rolls of active and inactive members.
Section 2 - Congregation
The Congregation of this Church is comprised of the active members who may vote on issues at a Congregational meeting and are eligible to hold office and be members of boards and permanent committees.
Section 3 - Basis of Membership
Members may be received by Baptism and Confession of Faith if not previously baptized; by Confession of Faith if one has been previously baptized; by Letter of Transfer from another Christian church; by Affirmation of Faith if a Letter of Transfer is not available; or by Reaffirmation of Faith if Membership has lapsed.
Prospective members must make their desire to unite with this Church known to the Senior Minister who will then present them to the Board of Deacons with his or her recommendation. After approval by the Board of Deacons, persons accepted for membership shall be received at a regular Worship Service or at another time as the Board of Deacons may determine.
Section 4 - Responsibilities of Membership
Active members are expected to be faithful in all spiritual duties essential to the Christian life; to attend regularly the services of this Church; to give systematically in support of this Church's programs, local and worldwide; to share in its organized work; and to strive diligently to win others to Christ and to this Church.
Active members individually or collectively have an essential voice in the life of this Church by voting during annual and special meetings.
Active members who have not attended this Church and have not contributed to its support for a period of two years shall be moved from the active roll, to the inactive roll by an act of the Board of Deacons Active members whose addresses have been unknown and have not communicated with this Church office for one year shall be moved by action of the Board of Deacons to the inactive roll. The Board of Deacons will coordinate the review of membership with the Church Clerk.
Section 5 - Privileges of Membership
Only active members in full standing have voice and vote in the meeting of the membership of this Church. Proxy votes are not accepted.
Section 6- Termination of Membership
Upon request, a Letter of Transfer to another church may be given, by vote of the Board of Deacons, for any member in good standing. General letters addressed to no particular church shall not be granted.
When a member joins another religious body, membership in this Church will be terminated.
If a member has not attended this Church for several months or requests in writing release from this Church membership, the Board of Deacons shall endeavor to secure continued membership in this Church. If such effort does not succeed, the request may be granted by the Board of Deacons and the membership will be terminated.
If a member becomes an offense to this Church, due to conduct or by persistent breach of Faith, the Board of Deacons shall counsel the member regarding the offensive conduct. If the offensive conduct persists, a written statement will be sent to the member. If the offensive conduct continues to persist, then the Board of Deacons may terminate the membership of said person by two-thirds vote, and notify them in writing of the action. If the terminated member would like to contest the action of the Board of Deacons, they may appeal to the Moderator of the Church in writing within 30 days of the Board of Deacons action and request to appear before the Church Council to appeal the decision of the Board of Deacons to terminate their membership. The person terminated by the Board of Deacons, and given adequate notice, shall have an opportunity to appear before the Church Council to hear the decision of the Board of Deacons and make an appeal for reinstating membership status. The Church Council may reinstate the membership at that meeting with a two-thirds vote of the Church Council.
ARTICLE IV - CHURCH OFFICERS
Section 1 - Officers and General Duties
The Church Officers of this Church shall consist of the Senior Minister, who shall be a graduate of an accredited seminary, Church Moderator, Church Vice-Moderator, Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Chairperson of the Board of Deacons, Church Clerk, Treasurer, and such others as the Church Council may determine with the consent of this Church. They shall make annual written reports to this Church. An individual may only hold one of the aforementioned officer positions at one time.
The Senior Minister, a graduate of an accredited seminary, shall be called for an indefinite period of time by a vote of this Church, as prescribed in Article IX, Section 4 of the Constitution. At the earliest opportunity following acceptance of call the Senior Minister shall become a member of the Church. If the Senior Minister is a member of a theological or ecclesiastic organization, the Senior Minister does so as an individual and not as a representative of this Church.
The Senior Minister shall be the spiritual leader of this Church and be responsible for the spiritual nurture of the Congregation by ensuring meaningful Worship Services, Christian Education programs for all ages, music, fellowship of the Congregation and rendering pastoral care and comfort to those in need. The Senior Minister shall be the Chief Executive Officer of this Church responsible for supervising staff and safeguarding the physical and non-physical assets of this Church.
The Senior Minister shall promote the spiritual welfare of this Church and all whom this Church would serve, assisted by the Board of Deacons. Senior Minister shall recruit and enlist individuals to be followers of Jesus Christ and to become members of this Church. The Senior Minister shall preach the Word and conduct this Church's services of Worship and administer the Sacraments. The Senior Minister shall perform those special tasks, which are the rights of an ordained minister, including marriages and baptisms. The Senior Minister shall exercise the privileges of teacher and counselor in public and private. The Senior Minister shall enjoy the freedom of the pulpit, but shall seek the advice and consent of the Board of Deacons in presenting other speakers.
As the Chief Executive Officer of this Church, the Senior Minister shall advise and implement personnel decisions of the Board of Directors, including the determination of the hours of duty, benefits and compensation of all staff. The senior Minister shall be an ex-officio member, with vote, of all Boards and Committees. The Senior Minister shall define duties of and delegate responsibilities to the compensated staff pursuant to this Church Constitution.
The Senior Minister shall make a monthly report to the Board of Directors and to the Church Council. The Senior Minister shall make a written report to the Congregation of the work of this Church during the past year, each year, at the Church's Annual Meeting.
The Senior Minister shall assist in determining both general and specific policies governing both this Church and compensated staff with the advice and consent of the appropriate board(s) and/or committee(s), and shall work to implement procedures and programs adopted by this Church and its boards and committees.
While the term of the Senior Minister shall be indefinite, a Special Congregational Meeting to consider the ministerial tenure, may be called at any time by a majority of the Church Council on its own initiative, by a majority of the Board of Deacons on their own initiative, or by receipt by the Church Council of a petition for consideration of the ministerial tenure signed by fifty or more active members. In such situations, the Moderator shall, within thirty days, call a duly noticed Special Congregational Meeting of this Church to consider ministerial tenure. This Church, at any such duly noticed and called special meeting, a two thirds majority vote, as prescribed by Article IX, Section 4 of this Church Constitution, to terminate ministerial tenure will result in the Senior Minister's removal. When the Senior Minister wishes to leave on his/her own volition, he/she shall give this Church through the Church Council sixty-day notice of his/her intention.
When the Senior Minister position becomes vacant, a Search Committee shall be elected at a special meeting of the Congregation called for that purpose. The Search Committee shall be constituted in the following manner: two members nominated from the Board of Deacons, one member nominated from the Board of Directors, the Moderator and Vice-Moderator of the church and at least five members at large. Additional nominations may be made at the special meeting of the Congregation from the active members present at such meeting. The Search Committee shall proceed at once to organize itself, electing a chairperson and secretary and shall extensively interview available ministers, settle upon the one whom in their judgment should be called to the pastorate, introduce the minister to this Church, and at a duly called Congregational meeting, propose his/her election. When a new Senior Minister assumes his/her duties, the Search Committee has completed its work and is dissolved.
Additional Ministers, graduates of an accredited seminary, may be employed to share with the Senior Minister in the responsibilities of promoting the spiritual welfare of this Church. Additional ministers, upon acceptance of a position within this Church, if not already a member shall become a member of this Church at the earliest opportunity.
With the advice of the Senior Minister the duties, hours, compensation, and benefits of such additional ministers, shall be determined by the Board of Directors.
Moderator and Vice Moderator
The Moderator or the Vice Moderator, in the absence of the Moderator, shall preside at all meetings of the Congregation and Church Council. The Moderator and Vice Moderator shall be ex-officio members of the Board of Directors without voting power and shall counsel with other Boards and Permanent Committees, as they may desire. The Church Council may recommend the formation of ad-hoc committees of the Council for specific purposes not otherwise provided for in this Church’s Constitution and Bylaws. The Moderator then shall appoint the members of such recommended ad-hoc committees. As lay leader of this Church, the Moderator shall seek to mediate such differences as may arise between individuals and/or groups. After serving three consecutive one-year terms the Moderator and Vice Moderator shall be ineligible for re-election to that position for one year.
The Church Clerk shall keep a faithful record of the Annual and special meetings of this Church. Additionally, the Church Clerk shall:
- Keep a record of the Church Council meetings
- Keep a register of the active and inactive members of this Church with dates of their reception and removal
- Keep a record of marriages, baptisms and deaths
- Issue letters of Dismissal when authorized
- Preserve on file all communications, documents and written official reports
- Notify all persons of their election to office, board or committee, to special appointment by the Moderator or Church Council or to membership in this Church.
Section 2 - Elections
The officers, except for the Senior Minister, the Chairperson of the Board of Directors, the Chairperson of the Board of the Board of Deacons shall be elected at the Annual Congregational Meeting to serve one year, holding their offices until their successors are elected at the next annual meeting or are appointed to fill their unexpired term by either the Church Council, the Board of Directors, or Board of Deacons. The Chairperson of the Board of Directors and the Chairperson of the Board of Deacons are to be elected by their respective Boards at their first meeting following the annual meeting.
In the event of an officer vacancy of a position elected by this Church, that occurs subsequent to the annual meeting, the Nominating Committee shall submit nominations to the Church Council for approval to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the current year until they or their successor are elected at the annual meeting to fill the remainder of the term.. However, vacancies occurring on the Board of Directors must be elected by the Board of Directors to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the current year..
The Moderator and Vice-Moderator may be re-elected for up to three consecutive one-year terms. After three consecutive years of service, a Moderator or Vice Moderato will be ineligible for re-election to their respective office for one year. The Church Clerk and Treasurer may be re-elected indefinitely. Only active members may be elected as officers and/or members of the Council or Boards.
Section 3 – Insurance Protection
Insurance protection shall be purchased by the Board of Directors, in an amount to be determined by the Board of Directors. Insurance shall provide a Fidelity Bond for all Church individuals handling Church funds, property, liability, error and omissions (E&O), and other coverage deemed necessary by the Board of Directors.
ARTICLE V - CHURCH COUNCIL
Section 1 - Membership
The Church Council shall consist of the elected officers, including the Senior Minister and the Chairpersons of the Board of Directors and the Board of Directors, Moderator, Vice-Moderator, Church Clerk, Treasurer, the chairman of the Nominating Committee, and three members at large. Members at large shall be elected at the Annual Congregational Meeting to serve for rotating terms of three years. All Church Council members must be active members of this Church.
Section 2 - Duties
The Church Council shall serve as a coordinating agent in the interests and activities of this Church, reviewing regularly the activities of officers, organizations and projecting plans for the future. The Church Council shall endeavor to promote the general efficiency of this Church, recommending such adjustments and improvements as may seem wise concerning policies and administration. The Church Council shall appoint temporary committees and delegates to Church conferences, councils and religious meetings. The Moderator will be the Chairman of the Council.
Section 3 - Meetings
The Church Council shall meet on a selected date of each month. A simple majority of the Church Council's membership shall constitute a quorum. Special meetings may be called by the Moderator, Senior Minister or by any three members of the council.
The Church Council may create from its own members and such other active members of this Church that it deems necessary, ad hoc committees deemed by the Church Council to be necessary to perform identified tasks or duties falling under the Church Council's jurisdiction.
ARTICLE VI - BOARDS
Section 1 - Boards
There shall be two Boards, their membership to consist as follows: Twelve (12) Board of Deacons members, and nine (9) Board of Directors members. An individual may not be a member of more than one board at one time.
Section 2 - Election and Organization
One third of the membership of each Board shall be elected annually to serve for three years. After serving a regular term, a board member may be elected to a second term. After six consecutive years of service, an individual will be ineligible for re-election to the same board for one year. Not later than the first Sunday following the Annual Congregational Meeting, each Board shall organize, choosing its own Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary and monthly meeting date. A quorum shall consist of a majority of the voting members. All Board members shall be active members of this Church. Each Board shall make an annual written report and submit a proposed budget to the Board of Directors. If an elected member of a Board misses three consecutive regularly scheduled Board meetings without excuse that member should resign or may be replaced. The Congregation may by majority vote remove any elected individual without cause.
Both Boards of this Church shall further have the responsibility of identifying and forwarding to the Nominating Committee the names of active Church members they believe could serve effectively on their own Board, another Board and/or Committees.
Each Board of this Church may create from its own members, and such at-large members that it deems necessary, such ad hoc committees deemed by such Board to be necessary to perform identified tasks or duties falling within such Board’s jurisdiction.
Cooperation of all boards and committees is encouraged and joint meetings should be held at the request of a board or committee chairperson.
Section 3 - Corporation
This Church was incorporated as The First Congregational Church of Redlands on July 21, 1936 establishing the Board of Directors as the Governing Body with the members of this Church as the members of the Corporation. The activities and responsibilities of the Board are delineated in this Church’s Corporate Bylaws.
Section 4 - Officers of the Corporation
Annually the Board of Directors shall elect officers for the Corporation. The officers are President (Chairperson), Vice President (Vice Chairperson), and Secretary of the Corporation. The Treasurer is an officer of the corporation elected by this Church. The President and Vice President must be members of the Board of Directors and all officers of the Corporation must be active members of this Church.
Section 5 – Board of Directors
The composition and duties of the Board of Directors are fully described in this Church’s Corporate Bylaws, and not repeated here.
Section 6 - Board of Deacons
The Board of Deacons is presently known as the Diaconate. For purposes of this Constitution “deacon” shall be gender neutral.. It shall work with the Senior Minister in advancing the spiritual welfare of this Church. The Board shall:
- Elect a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and Secretary at the first regular meeting scheduled after the annual meeting for a one-year term. The Chairperson shall be a member of the Church Council.
- Authorize the Church Clerk to issue letters of dismissal
- Have regard to discipline as provided in this Constitution
- Have in its care the revision of the membership roll.
- Deacons (both past and present) will serve Communion to this Church’s members
- Approve applicants for membership
- Oversee the five (5) permanent committees listed in Article VII, Section 1
ARTICLE VII - PERMANENT COMMITTEES
Section 1 - Permanent Committees
There shall be a Mission Committee, Worship and Music Committee, a Fellowship Committee, a Christian Education Committee, and an Outreach Committee at the direction of the Board of Deacons. There shall be a Finance Committee, Property Committee, Personnel Committee and Administration Committee at the direction of the Board of Directors. Members of each committee serve at the discretion and under the authority of their directing Board. There shall be a Nominating committee of the Congregation that serves on behalf of the Congregation and reports to the Church Council.
The Board of Deacons will be responsible for five permanent committees: the Christian Education Committee, the Worship and Music Committee, the Mission Committee, the Fellowship Committee and the Outreach Committee. At least two members of the Board of Deacons shall actively serve on each committee. Additional individuals may serve on each permanent committee in order that the committee may function in an orderly and efficient manner. Ad hoc committees may be developed as needed to undertake projects under the direction of the Board of Deacons.
Christian Education Committee
The Christian Education Committee shall plan and supervise a comprehensive program of Christian Education. The program should include a Church School and such youth and adult groups as the Christian Education Committee deems necessary for the future of Christian Faith among the members of this Church. The Christian Education Committee should determine the policies, build the curricula, set the goals, supervise the instruction, recruit and appoint such volunteer personnel as necessary, provide training and supervision of instructors and leaders. Further, the Christian Education Committee should represent this Church in cooperation with community and interchurch projects and activities in the field of Christian Education.
The Mission Committee shall coordinate the mission plans and activities of all departments of this Church, suggest endeavors and supervise special projects to be undertaken. The Mission Committee shall familiarize itself with the work of this Church's programs, local and worldwide, and present the same to the membership of this Church. Upon adoption of the general budget, the Mission Committee will be responsible to oversee the interpretation and distribution of funds to the approved agencies in the Church Budget.
Worship and Music Committee
The Worship and Music Committee shall, in consultation with the Senior Minister and other designated staff, plan and supervise an effective program of church worship and music, recommending to the Board of Directors a budget necessary to execute the program and administer the same following its adoption; recommend such professional personnel as may be needed, which, following their appointment by the Board of Directors, should thereafter work in cooperation with the Senior Minister and designated staff; have general supervision over the musical instruments of this Church, and other items pertaining to the music ministry of this Church, such as choir robes, hymnals, Bibles, etc.; coordinate the details of worship with the Senior Minister and designated staff, including the work of ushers; provide for special musical functions, like a music school, recitals, etc.; provide for the supply of the pulpit in case of a vacancy and in the absence of the pastor; make necessary provision for the sacraments, be responsible for the preparation and set up of all Communion materials and coordinate the service of communion by deacons, both past and present.
The Fellowship Committee shall coordinate the social activities of this Church including women's ministry, men's ministry, the activities of small groups, church wide events such as Kirk Night, the care ministry including hospital and home visitation, and life events such as weddings and funerals; assist in caring for people in special need of this Church's ministrations; mediate with the aid of the Moderator, such differences between members of this Church or between members of this Church and the compensated staff, including the Senior Minister, as may affect the peace and harmony of this Church; make recommendation to the Board of Deacons for the termination of membership; visit the sick and needy; collect funds from the Congregation for use by the Board of Deacons caring for people with special needs; and work together with the Senior Minister for the maintenance and distribution of Board of Deacons’ Funds, preserving the privacy of individual recipients.
The Outreach Committee shall be responsible for all functions related to the recruitment of new members and for visitor information, orientation and follow up; call upon visitors and new members, introducing them into the life of this Church; provide greeters at all regular services; and recommend applicants for membership.
The Finance Committee shall supervise the Church’s budget and investments subject to the approval of the Board of Directors. The Finance Committee is also responsible for all matters related to Stewardship.
The Property Committee shall be responsible for the care and upkeep of this Church’s property, including grounds care, and equipment. The Property Committee is also responsible for Facility Master Planning.
The Personnel Committee shall deal with all human relation items including and not limited to hiring and termination, enforcement of legal and ethical workplace standards, defining benefits and in general serve as the Human Resources department of the Church in a similar manner to private industry. It shall establish the proposed salary budget, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors. This shall include all personnel policies, hiring and termination of staff, and keeping of personnel records.
The Administration Committee shall be responsible for Policies and Procedures, Safety, Technology and Communications, and Office Operations.
The Nominating Committee shall be elected by this Church and work as a committee of this Church. It shall consist of six members elected for three year terms. The Nominating committee shall nominate the Moderator, Vice Moderator, Board Members, Church Council and Nominating Committee with attention to the needs of the permanent Committees of the Board of Directors and the Board of Deacons. The Chairperson of the Nominating Committee shall, on receipt of a petition signed by 15 active members of the Congregation, add to the previous nominations such other names as the 15 members have requested and they shall be included on the ballot prepared for the Annual Congregational meeting. All nominees shall be active members of this Church. ·
The Nominating Committee shall post and shall publish in this Church’s newsletter, the nominations three Sundays prior to the Annual Congregational Meeting of this Church as approved by the Church Council. The right of any active member of this Church to make nominations from the floor exists and shall be recognized. When vacancies occur during the year, the Nominating Committee shall submit nominations to the Church Council for acceptance except that in the instance of a vacancy on the Board of Directors, they shall submit nominations to the Board of Directors for their approval.
Section 2 - Election and Organization
Each supervising board should assign representative(s) from their respective board to serve as members on each Permanent Committee. Each board representative should assure the recruitment of membership of each Committee from among the church members and the committee election of a chairman, all subject to the approval of the overseeing board. Each Permanent Committee is responsible for certain programs of this Church defined in this Church’s Constitution. All Permanent Committees shall meet regularly under the direction of their elected chair and will make regular reports to their respective board. A permanent committee quorum shall consist of a majority of the voting members. All voting Committee members shall be active members of this Church. Each Permanent Committee shall make an annual written report and submit a proposed budget to the Board of Directors. If for any unexcused reason, a member of a Permanent Committee should miss three consecutive regularly scheduled committee meetings, that member should resign or may be replaced.
The Nominating Committee members shall be elected at the Annual Congregational Meeting. The Committee shall recruit board members, officers and the three at-large Council Members with committee leadership in mind, and committees should have the responsibility of identifying and forwarding to the Nominating Committee the names of active Church members they believe could serve effectively as board members on their committee, other committees, and boards. The Nominating Committee shall report their activity to the Church Council and the Chairperson is a member of the Church Council.
Any Permanent Committee of this Church may create from its own members and such at-large members and friends that it deems necessary, ad hoc committees deemed by such Permanent Committee to be necessary to perform identified tasks or duties falling within such Permanent Committee's jurisdiction. Such ad hoc committee(s) shall not perform the duties of other Boards and/or Committees of this Church as defined in this Church's Constitution.
ARTICLE VIII - ORGANIZATIONS
All organizations sponsored by the Church and their activities , shall be under this Church's general supervision and direction. Their activities shall be reported to the Church Council, through an appropriate Board or Permanent Committee.
ARTICLE IX – CONGREGATIONAL MEETINGS
Section 1 - Annual Meeting
The Annual Congregational Meeting shall be held in January, the exact date to be set 60 days in advance by the Church Council, for the purpose of hearing reports from the Senior Minister; Officers; Boards; Permanent Committees; of electing officers; Board members as provided in this Constitution and transacting such other business as may be required, but may not vote on matters reserved to the Board of Directors of the Corporation e.g. election of Corporate officers other than the Treasurer, personnel matters, filling of Board vacancies, etc.
Section 2 - Special Congregational Meetings
Special congregational meetings may be called by the Moderator at the direction of the Church Council or upon the written request of 25 members of this Church, who shall specify in writing to the Moderator the nature of the business to be transacted. Notice of special meetings shall be announced to members during regular Sunday morning services on the two Sundays preceding the date of the meeting and notice shall be listed for two weeks in this Church’s publications.).
Section 3 - Order of Business
Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, all meetings of this Church all Boards, Committees, and Subsidiary Organizations shall be conducted and business transacted under and in accordance with “Roberts Rules of Order Revised Eleventh Edition 2011”
Section 4 -Eligibility and Quorum
Every active member in shall be entitled to vote on all questions, except for those matters reserved to the Board of Directors of the Corporation coming before this Church as prescribed in this Church’s Bylaws as may be in effect from time to time. A majority of the votes cast shall decide all matters except the election of the Senior Minister, revisions and amendments to this Church Constitution, revisions and amendments to this Church’s Corporate Bylaws, and approval of affiliation, association or membership. Two-thirds of the votes cast shall be required to elect or terminate a Senior Minister transact purchase or sale of Church property, revisions and amendments to this Church’s Constitution, revisions and amendments to this Church’s Corporate Bylaws or approve affiliation, association or membership to a Religious Body e.g. a denomination.
Section 5 –Reservation of Rights
The members of this Church reserve the right to approve or disapprove any sale, lease, improvement, encumbrance, mortgage, exchange, conveyance, or other transfer of real property held by this Church and/or its corporate entity.
Ten percent of the Congregation’s active members present at the Annual or Special meetings of this church shall constitute a quorum.
ARTICLE X – AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION
This Constitution may be amended if the Amendments:
- Have been approved by the Church Council
- Have been presented in writing in this Church's official publication two consecutive weeks prior to a Congregational Meeting
- Are approved by a 2/3 vote at an Annual Congregational Meeting or Special Congregational Meeting called for that purpose