CONSTITUTION OF PRINCE OF PEACE LUTHERAN CHURCH, TOPEKA, KANSAS
(Revised draft 6/16/20)
The name of this congregation shall be Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Topeka, Kansas.
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 nurture the faith of its members, 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 to human need, and to achieve its 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 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.”
This congregation distinguishes between three types of congregational membership.
4.1 Current membership of this congregation includes one or more of 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 into communicant membership.
4.1.2 Communicant members are those baptized members who have been instructed and are familiar with the contents of Luther’s Small Catechism, have been confirmed in the Lutheran faith, and accept the confessional standard of Section 3 of this Constitution.
4.1.3. Voting members are communicant members who have reached the age of 18 years.
4.2 To be received as a members of this congregation individuals must meet one or more of the following:
4.2.1 Baptized members are received through the Sacrament of Holy Baptism or through the consent of one or both parents in the case of children who have been baptized in another Christian congregation.
4.2.2 Adult members are received through the rite of confirmation and Sacrament of Holy Baptism as appropriate, through transfer from a sister congregation, or through profession of faith or reaffirmation of faith.
184.108.40.206 All communicant members who have reached the age of 18 are voting members.
4.3 Members of this congregation shall conform their entire lives to the authority of God's Word and to that end shall 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 Membership in this congregation shall be terminated as follows:
4.4.1 Membership shall be terminated by transfer to a sister congregation, by joining a congregation outside the fellowship of this congregation, by excommunication or self-exclusion, or by death.
4.4.2 Communicant members who conduct themselves in an un-Christian manner shall be admonished according to Matthew 18:15.20. If they remain impenitent after proper admonition, they shall be excommunicated. Each case of excommunication shall be presented to the voters assembly for a decision. A two-thirds majority vote of the voters assembly shall be required for an excommunication.
4.4.3 Members may be removed by self-exclusion at the discretion of the pastor and the board of directors.
5.0 CALLED CHURCH WORKERS
5.1 The pastoral office shall be conferred only upon ordained ministers who are members of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, candidates for the pastoral ministry who have satisfied the qualifications and requirements for assignment of first calls by Synod, or ordained ministers who are members in good standing of church bodies that have been formally recognized to be in altar and pulpit fellowship with the Synod when agreements for such calls are in place.
5.2 Only those commissioned ministers shall receive a call who adhere to the confessional standard set forth in this constitution, who are qualified for the work of the ministry to which they are called, and who have been endorsed by and are members of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, who are candidates of LCMS colleges and universities who have satisfied the qualifications and requirements for assignment of first calls, and who are commissioned ministers in good standing from church bodies that are in altar and pulpit fellowship with The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.
5.3 The right of calling ordained or commissioned ministers shall be vested in the voters assembly and shall not be delegated otherwise.
5.4 Called ordained or commissioned ministers may be removed from office in Christian and lawful order by a two-thirds majority ballot vote of the voters assembly for one of the following reasons: persistent adherence to false doctrine, scandalous life, willful neglect of the duties of office, the inability to perform those duties, or domineering in office.
5.5 When a vacancy occurs in an office of an ordained or commissioned minister, the congregation shall notify the president of the district to receive assistance in temporarily filling the vacancy and to receive his counsel in calling a new pastor, teacher, or other church worker.
6.0 AUTHORITY OF AND WITHIN THE CONGREGATION
6.1 The establishment and conduct of all organizations and societies within the congregation or related directly to the congregation shall be subject to the overall authority and general oversight of the voters assembly.
6.2 All matters before the voters assembly shall be decided by a majority vote unless otherwise specified by this constitution or bylaws. Matters of doctrine and conscience shall be decided only on the basis of the Word of God.”
Meetings of the voters assembly shall be held as determined in the bylaws.
7.1 Announcements of regular meetings shall be made in the services of the two previous Sundays and through mail or electronic means.
7.2 Announcements of special meetings shall be made in the services of the two previous Sundays or in the services of the previous Sunday when accompanied by notification by mail or by electronic means. Such special meetings may be called at the request of the pastor, president, board of directors, or ten (10) voting members.
7.3 All voting members present at a properly called meeting shall constitute a quorum.
8.0 OFFICERS AND BOARDS
This congregation shall have the following officers, board of directors, and committees in addition to any which the congregation shall establish from time to time.
8.1 The voters assembly shall elect a president, a president elect (who will serve as president the next year), a secretary, and a treasurer, who shall be the officers of the congregation. The voters assembly shall also elect three other voting members (one of whom will be the preschool representative), who with the four officers and the senior pastor shall comprise the board of directors of the congregation. The pastor may serve as a voting member of the board. Other called workers, the Director of the Preschool the Parish Nurse may serve as ex-officio members. The nomination and election of officers and board members shall be as specified in this constitution and accompanying bylaws.
8.2 The board of directors shall have the authority to develop and implement policies, procedures, and ministries as necessary to execute the vision and plans approved by the voters assembly.
8.3 The officers of the congregation and the senior pastor shall serve as the executive committee of the board of directors.
8.4 The board of directors, the executive committee and other boards and committees cannot exceed spending beyond the total annual budged established by the voters assembly in the annual budget or in subsequent changes to that budget.
8.5 This congregation shall have such boards and committees as are necessary to assist the called workers, elected leaders, and members of the congregation in carrying out its mission and ministry. These boards and committees may be authorized or created by staff members and/or officers subject to review by the board of directors. The boards and committees shall meet on an as needed basis.
8.6 Any officer or board or committee member who fails to perform the duties of office or the responsibilities of confirmed membership may be removed from office by the voters assembly by a two-thirds majority ballot vote, in Christian and lawful order. Matthew 18 should be followed under such circumstances.”
If at any time a division of the congregation should take place for any reason, the following principles will govern.
9.2 In the event that the congregation dissolves, all property shall be disposed of by the final voters assembly for the payment of debts and all just claims against the congregation, Any and all surplus items, and all rights connected to the remaining property shall be dispersed by the voters.
This constitution may be amended in the following manner.
10.1 Amendments to the provisions of this constitution not identified in the following paragraph shall be submitted in writing at a meeting of the voters assembly and announced to the congregation by public posting and/or mail to all communicant members prior to the meeting at which the proposed amendment will be acted upon. A two-thirds affirmative vote of the voters present shall be required for adoption.
10.2 Amendments to 3.0 CONFESSIONAL STANDARD shall not destroy their essential meaning. Amendments shall be submitted in writing at a meeting of the voters assembly and made public to the congregation by public posting and/or by mail to all communicant members. Notice of the discussion of such amendments shall be given prior to the next voters assemblies when the proposed action will be discussed. Notice that action will be taken on proposed amendments shall be provided to all voting members prior to the meeting when a vote will be taken. The date of approval shall be referenced in any amendment adopted.
10.3 The revised constitution shall, as a condition of continued membership in good standing in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, be submitted to the president of the district for review by the district’s constitution committee and favorable action by the district’s board of directors before being adopted by the congregation.
BYLAWS OF PRINCE OF PEACE LUTHERAN CHURCH, TOPEKA, KANSAS
(Revised draft 6/16/20)
1.0 PROCEDURES FOR CALLING MINISTERS OF RELIGION
When this congregation calls a minister of religion, ordained or commissioned, the following procedure shall be followed:
1.1 When a pastor or commissioned minister is to be called, every member of the congregation shall be provided opportunity to suggest one or more names for consideration.
1.2 A call committee shall be appointed by the board of directors (members are encouraged to submit their names to the board of directors to consider) to serve as a screening committee. The congregation and/or the call committee can submit names to the district president for information and evaluation. The committee may use the Kansas District guidelines for evaluating pastors. The committee shall then present to the congregation by public announcement its proposed list of candidates and their biographical sketches.
1.3 At a voters meeting called for the purpose of calling a new pastor or commissioned minister, the proposed list may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the assembly. When possible, information regarding additional candidates shall be provided by the district president and/or his representative at the meeting.
1.4 Ballot voting shall continue until a two-thirds vote determines the disposition of the call.
2.0 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The officers of the congregation along with three other elected at-large members (one of whom will be the preschool representative) and the senior pastor shall comprise the board of directors, which shall provide direction to the congregation on behalf of the voters assembly.
2.1 The board of directors shall have the authority to develop and implement policies, procedures, and ministries as necessary to execute the vision and plans approved by the voters assembly. Written policies and procedures shall be made available to voting members upon request. The board of directors shall have no authority beyond that which has been conferred upon it by the constitution, its bylaws, or the voters assembly, and authority delegated to the board of directors may at any time be altered or revoked by the voters assembly. The board of directors shall normally meet in regular session at least quarterly face to face or through electronic means.
2.2 The officers of the congregation and the senior pastor shall serve as the executive committee of the board of directors, which shall have the authority to administer all property belonging to the congregation, make contracts, accept and receive grants and bequests, sign documents, appear in court, review the constitution and bylaws, report to the congregation when appropriate, and take other such action as may be authorized by the board of directors and/or voters. The committee shall meet at least monthly face-to-face or through electronic means.
2.3 This congregation shall have such boards and committees as are necessary to assist the called workers, elected leaders, and members of the congregation in carrying out its mission and ministry. These boards and committees may be authorized or created by staff members subject to review by the board of directors. The boards and committees shall meet on an as needed basis. The boards and committees shall submit written reports as appropriate or as requested by the board of directors.
3.0 NOMINATIONS, ELECTIONS, AND TERMS OF OFFICE
The procedure for the nomination and election of elected and appointed officers and board members shall be as follows.
3.1 A nominating committee appointed by the board of directors shall present a slate of candidates for each elected and appointed office. The slate shall normally provide one or two names for each office. In the case of elected positions, additional nominations may be made from the floor. No person shall be nominated without his or her consent.
3.2 A majority of the votes cast shall be required for all elections. Candidates receiving the lowest number of votes shall be eliminated in each succeeding ballot.
3.3 All officers shall be elected for a term of one year. Other members of the board of directors shall be elected for a term of one years. There will be no limit on the number of terms an officer or member may serve other than those imposed through the process of nomination and election.
3.4 Officers and board members shall be inducted into office in a public service of the congregation.
3.5 In case of a vacancy in an elective office, the board of directors shall appoint a successor to fill the unexpired term from a list of candidates provided by the nominating committee. Service for more than one-half of a term shall constitute a full term.
4.0 OFFICIAL DUTIES
The board of directors and committees shall perform the duties as provided in the constitution. The congregation shall also have the right to detail and expand upon those responsibilities by the development of job descriptions developed by the board of directors. The job descriptions will be found in the policy and procedure manual.
The voters assembly shall meet at least annually.
6.0 RULES OF ORDER
In addition to principles laid down in Scripture and in the constitution and bylaws of this congregation, accepted parliamentary procedures such as Robert’s Rules of Order newly revised shall be followed.
These bylaws may be amended in a properly convened meeting of the voters assembly.
7.1 Amendments shall be adopted by a 2/3 majority of all votes cast, provided the proposed change has been announced in a previous meeting or has been submitted in writing and/or electronic means at least two weeks prior to the meeting to all communicant members.
7.2 The revised bylaws shall, as a condition of continued membership in good standing of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, must be submitted to the president of the district for review by the district’s constitution committee and favorable action by the district’s board of directors before being adopted by the congregation.