Church Constitution

The following Constitution was most recently adopted January 19, 2014

First Congregational United Church of Christ

200 North Main Street

Mount Vernon, Ohio 43050-2410

 

CONSTITUTION

                                                        ARTICLE I.  NAME

The name of this church shall be First Congregational United Church of Christ located in Mount Vernon, Ohio.

 

                                                  ARTICLE II.  PURPOSE

The purpose of this Church is to continue the mission and minis­try of Jesus Christ, bringing together His followers to celebrate the sacraments, to worship God together, to work through mutual ministry and education, and to reach out to all humankind by striving for justice, peace and dignity throughout the world.

 

                                              ARTICLE III.  COVENANT

We, children of God,

and the people of this church,

promise together before God these things:

to open ourselves to the fullness of God’s love;

to love others and ourselves

in the same outpouring way.

We covenant with the Lord,

and with one another,

to seek to know the will of God

as taught in the Holy Scriptures

and to walk together in all God’s ways

made known or to be made known to us.

 

                 ARTICLE IV.  STATEMENT OF FAITH

We believe in God, the Eternal Spirit, who is made known to us in Jesus our brother, and

to whose deeds we testify:

God calls the worlds into being,

creates humankind in the divine image,

and sets before us the ways of life and death.

God seeks in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin.

God judges all humanity and nations by that will of righteousness

declared through prophets and apostles.

In Jesus Christ, the Man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Lord,

 

                 God has come to us

 

                 and shared our common lot,

conquering sin and death and reconciling the whole creation to its Creator.

God bestows upon us the Holy Spirit,

creating and renewing the Church of Jesus Christ,

binding in covenant faithful people of all ages, tongues, and races.

God calls us into the Church

to accept the cost and joy of discipleship,

to be servants in the service of the whole human family,

to proclaim the gospel to all the world

and resist the powers of evil,

to share in Christ’s baptism and eat at His table,

to join Him in His passion and victory.

God promises to all who trust in the gospel

forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace,

courage in the struggle for justice and peace,

the presence of the Holy Spirit in trial and rejoicing,

and eternal life in that kingdom which has no end.

Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto God.  Amen.

(Adapted by Robert V. Moss)

 

                                   ARTICLE V.  GOVERNMENT

A.  The government of this church is vested in its members, who shall exercise the right of control in all its affairs, depending upon the continuing guidance of the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth.

 

B.  This church shall be a part of the United Church of Christ, recognizing its covenant with other churches of the United Church of Christ.

 

C.  This church holds to the unity and universality of the Church of Christ, and will unite with all its branches in hearty cooper­ation, that the prayer of our Lord for his disciples may be answered, “That they all may be one.”

 

D.  Respecting honest conviction, this church, as a fellowship of seekers, grants to each member the right to individual interpre­tation of Christian principles, and urges each member to develop his or her own interpretation as led by the Holy Spirit and undergirded by the community of faith known as First Congregational UCC.

 

                                      ARTICLE VI.  MEMBERSHIP

A.  Membership in this church is open to any person who confesses faith in Jesus Christ, commits himself or herself to participate in the purpose of this church, and assents to the covenant of the church.

 

B.  1.  A person may become a member of this church

a.  Upon confession of faith,

b.  By confirmation of faith,

c.  By presenting a letter of transfer from another church,

d.  By re‑affirmation of faith when one is or has been a member of another church and                       a letter of transfer cannot be obtained.

 

 

2.  A person holding full membership in another church may become a member of this church by re‑affirmation of faith, a letter of commendation, or any other appropriate means.  Such membership shall carry with it all the rights and responsibilities of full membership. Candidates for such membership shall apply to and be recommended by the Diaconate.

 

C. 1.  A member of this church may terminate his or her member­ship by written request for                 transfer to another church or for dismissal from membership, directed to the Diaco­nate,           which shall act on the request.

 

2.  A member may be placed on Inactive Status by the Diaco­nate if, upon review of the          Diaconate, he or she is found not to be participating in the life and work of the church by          regular attendance, or financial support, or active involvement in some other manner.

 

3. Those with inactive status may be granted letters of transfer to another church or granted          active status in the future.

 

D. For purposes of establishing a quorum, active members residing in Knox County shall be considered resident members and those out­side Knox County non‑resident members.

 

               ARTICLE VII.  CHURCH MEETINGS

A.  The Governing Body of this church is the membership assembled in church meeting.  An affirmative vote of 60 percent of the members present at a church meeting is required for passage of a measure, unless otherwise designated.  At a duly called meeting, a quorum consists of 15 percent of the resident members as determined by January 1 of the year in which the meeting occurs.

 

B.  All regular meetings of the Governing Body must be announced in writing by the Moderator.  The announcement must  (1) state the purpose(s) of the meeting, (2) be mailed or e-mailed to the membership not less than three weeks in advance of the meeting, and (3) must be read from the pulpit during worship service at least once within the two‑weeks prior to the meeting.

 

C.  The Moderator is to appoint a parliamentarian for each meet­ing.

 

D.  The Annual Meeting of this church is held between January 1 and no later than the third Sunday in January.  The church year is January 1 through December 31.  At the Annual Meeting all annual reports are received, the year’s work is reviewed, and a budget for the ensuing year is adopted.  The officers and posi­tions called for in this Constitution are elected and installed at the Annual Meeting; they serve until the next Annual Meeting.

 

E.  Special meetings are called by the Moderator as needed or when seven members of this church together present to the Modera­tor a written request for a special meeting.  The Moderator calls such meetings as expeditiously as possible.

 

 

F.  Items of business, not part of the original agenda but needing immediate attention, may be introduced at any church meeting, unless objection is made and is sustained by vote of one‑third of the members present.

 

G.  All church meetings are governed by Robert’s Rules of Order, the most recent edition available at the meeting except as tem­pered by Christian conscience or unless otherwise specified in this Constitution.

 

H.  A written ballot is used for voting on any issue whenever this manner of voting is proposed by one or more voting members present.

 

I.   At the next regular meeting of Church Council after any con­gregational meeting, the Church Council shall review the minutes of the congregational meeting and give them preliminary ap­proval after noting any necessary corrections.  These minutes shall then be printed, posted in the Social Hall and copies made available to the congregation, noting that they have been reviewed by Church Council.  The minutes of any congregational meeting other than the Annual Meeting shall be given final ap­proval by the governing body at the next Congregational Meet­ing.  The minutes of the Annual Meeting shall be given final approval by the governing body at the next Annual Meeting.

 

ARTICLE VIII.  CHURCH COUNCIL

A.  The Church Council, between meetings of the Governing Body, is the policy‑making body of this church, guiding the total program of the church and its business, most of which will be carried out within the framework of the Departments and Diaconate as set forth in Article XII of this constitution.

 

B.  The Church Council shall consist of the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson, Pastor or Pastors, the Moderator, the Clerk, the Treasurer, one representative of each Department and the Diaconate and three Members-at-Large.  These people shall constitute the total voting membership.  A quorum shall consist of 50 percent of full membership plus one.

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C.  The three Council members‑at‑large shall be elected for staggered three‑year terms with one term expiring each year.

 

D.  The Church Council shall normally meet once each month and may meet more often upon call of the Chairperson or Vice Chair­person.  The Church Council shall receive such reports from Officers, Departments, the Diaconate, and Committees as the Chairperson or the Council may determine.

 

E.  The Church Council shall have the authority to appoint what­ever committees it deems necessary or advisable and shall desig­nate the Department or Diaconate, if any, within which each shall function.

 

 

F.  The Church Council shall annually determine the method by which nominations for vacant offices and expiring terms of office shall be derived.  Council may, at its discretion, choose either to appoint a Nominating Committee, with composition and duties to be recommended by Council, or to assign the nominating process to a limited task force of Council members.  In either case, the body so formed shall be responsible for nominating persons to fill all elected positions:  viz., Church Officers and Council members, Department Chairs, Department members, and such other positions as this Constitution may prescribe or Church Council may request.  No candidate’s name shall be presented for election without first obtaining the candidate’s permission and agreement to serve in the position he or she is to fill.  The Nominating Committee or task force shall inform each candidate of the basic requirements of the office he or she is asked to fill and suggest additional means of obtaining more complete information.  (See Article IX, Item B)

 

G.  Any vacancy occurring in any Office (other than that of Pastor), Department, or elected Committee shall be filled, until the next annual meeting, by a person designated by the Church Council.

 

H.  The Church Council shall have no power to buy, sell, mort­gage, or transfer real property without first having secured authorization of the Governing Body, duly called for considera­tion of the subject.  Authorization shall require a 2/3 vote of the Governing Body.

 

I.  The Church Council shall make a written report of its actions to the church membership at each Annual Meeting.  It shall pre­pare a financial statement that shall be available to the con­gregation not later than the Sunday before the Annual Meeting.  It shall prepare an annual budget for consideration and action by the Governing Body.

 

J.  There shall be a Personnel Committee, consisting of the Chairperson of the Church Council as its chairperson, the Vice Chairperson of the Church Council, the Chairperson of the Diaconate, the Chairperson of the Department of Church and Ministry, and such other persons, if any, which the Church Council may designate, with the Pastor(s) serving as an ex-officio member(s).  The duties of the Personnel Committee shall include hiring and termination of paid staff (other than the Pastor(s)), conducting annual performance appraisals of the Pastor(s) and of paid staff with input from the Pastor(s), addressing any performance or behavioral concerns with paid staff and generally attending to any concerns which arise with respect to paid staff.  The content of all meetings of the Personnel Committee shall be held in strict confidence.  (See Article X, Item E)

 

K.  The Church Council shall appoint a Historian.

 

L.  The Church Council shall appoint an auditor, who is a Certified Public Accountant, other than the treasurer, who shall serve at the pleasure of the Church Council.  The Church Auditor shall bi-annually perform an audit of the Church’s financial re­cords, pursuant to Article IX, Section G, Paragraph 4, of this Constitution.

 

M.  The Church Council shall appoint a Pastoral Relations Committee with not less than three nor more than six members to be chosen at Council’s discretion.  The Pastoral Relations Committee shall meet regularly with the Pastor(s) to address concerns of pastor-parish relations. Meetings of the Pastoral Relations Committee may, at the Committee’s discretion or Pastor’s request, be held in executive session, and the content of all Pastoral Relations Committee meetings shall be held in strict confidence.  The Pastoral Relations Committee shall act as a two-way conduit for information and concerns raised by either the Pastor or members of the congregation, representing in confidence the concerns of those who prefer not to raise them directly, and seeking amicable resolution of problems raised.

 

                         ARTICLE IX.  OFFICERS AND THEIR DUTIES

A.  The officers of this church shall be the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the Church Council, the Pastor(s), Moderator, Clerk, and Treasurer.  The Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the Church Council, Moderator, and Clerk shall serve one-year terms and the Treasurer shall serve a three-year term.  All may be elected for additional consecutive terms.  Installation of officers shall be at the end of the Annual Meeting.

 

B.  At the Annual meeting of the Governing Body, the Church Council shall present a list of nominations for vacant and expiring elected positions, which shall have been generated pursuant to Article VIII, Item F., of this Constitution.  The list of nominations shall also have been mailed with the notice for the meeting of the Governing Body.

 

C.  Any member at the meeting for election of officers may present, from the floor, nominations for any office or position to be filled at such meeting in addition to the nominations presented by the Nominating Committee or task force, provided that any such nominations have received the prior consent of the nominee.  Pursuant to Article VII, Section A., the vote of 60 percent of the members present at a church meeting shall be the action of the church, unless otherwise designated.  At a duly called meeting, a quorum shall consist of 15 percent of the resident members.

 

D.  The Chairperson of the Council shall preside at all Council meetings and be the official spokesperson for the Council at meetings of the Governing Body.  In the Chairperson’s absence, the Vice Chairperson shall assume these duties and responsibilities.  See Article VIII, Item J.

 

E.  The Moderator shall preside at all meetings of the Governing Body.  It is his or her responsibility to call the meetings, notifying the congregation by letter stating the purpose of the meetings and Constitutional requirements.  In the Moderator’s absence, the Chairperson of the Diaconate shall assume the Moderator’s duties and responsibilities.  See Article VIII, Item J.

 

F.  The Clerk shall be responsible for keeping an accurate record of baptisms, membership additions and withdrawals, marriages and deaths.  These and all other permanent records of the Church shall be kept in the church office while current and then be stored long-term in the locked history room within the church.  The Clerk shall be the secretary at all Council meetings.  The Clerk shall also be the secretary at all meetings of the Governing Body.  In the absence of the Clerk, the Moderator shall appoint someone to fill that function at the meeting of the Governing Body.  The minutes of each meeting shall be on file at the church office and available to any member during regular church office hours.  The Clerk may rely on the delegated assistance of the Church Secretary in essential recordkeeping, file maintenance and related tasks.

 

G.  The Treasurer shall make a monthly written financial statement to the Council and to the Department of Stewardship.  The Treasurer shall be responsible for the following duties:

 

1. The Treasurer shall receive from the Church Secretary all monies contributed for current             expenses, benevo­lences, trust investments, legacies, wills, etc., and shall, with the approval            of the Church Council, pay all bills of the Church within the current expense and      benevolence budget approved by the Governing Body.

 

2. The Treasurer shall be the authorized check signer for the church.   Should the Treasurer             be absent, ill or otherwise not available, the second authorized check signer shall be the chairperson of Church Council who shall serve as Assistant Treasurer.

 

3. The Treasurer shall make a quarterly report to the membership of the receipts,      disbursements, and the financial condition of the Church.

 

 

4. The Treasurer and the Church Council shall provide the Governing Body at the annual     meeting with an audit, by some member of the church other than the treasurer, of the       accounts and business affairs of the Church.

 

5. The Treasurer, under the direction of Church Council, shall maintain appropriate

accounts to fulfill the requirements of the Treasurer’s function.

 

a.  Funds that are to be used for current expenses and benevolences, or are received                            through the church for a designated purpose, will be invested until needed.  A monthly                     report of all receipts and disbursements of these funds will be presented to                                   Stewardship and Council monthly.  All temporary investments of funds will also be                          reported.

 

b.  Council shall decide which other receipts of funds, whether in cash, securities or                            real estate, shall be transferred to the Endowment Fund and which shall be used for                      other purposes.

 

c.  Unbudgeted expenses exceeding four percent of the annual budget must have                                  approval from the Governing Body.  Smaller amounts will be approved by Council.

 

d.  Endowment Fund – Council shall determine if a professional investment                                          management company should manage the endowment fund.  If no manager is so                                  selected, the Treasurer will assume this responsibility.  In either event, the                                               responsible party will make a quarterly report to Council.

 

e.  The Treasurer, upon approval of the Church Council, is hereby authorized to                                   purchase or dispose of marketable securities as deemed necessary in the best interest                   of the Church.  The Chair of Council will be authorized to do so in the absence of the                       Treasurer.

 

                        ARTICLE X.  OFFICE OF THE PASTOR(S)

A.  Recognizing that all members of the church are called to be ministers of Christ, the task of the ordained pastor(s) is to be a special minister among ministers, not the only minister.  Because of the pastor’s(s’) educational background, professional skills, and competence recognized by denominational standing, he or she is acknowledged as the professional leader(s) and pastor(s) of this church.

 

B.  Pastor Duties and Compensation

 

1. The nature and terms of the Pastor’s(s’) duties shall be broadly construed to be those traditionally associated with the office of an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, e.g., preaching and conducting worship, visitation, pastoral counseling, management of church staff, etc. Other duties more specifically described may be negotiated by mutual agreement between the Pastor(s) and the Church Council as either deems desirable.

 

2.  The Pastor’s compensation package, including salary, fringe benefits, housing arrangements, vacation, and other details related to the Pastor’s employment, is detailed in the Call Agreement executed by the Council Chair, the Treasurer, the Chair of the Committee on Pastoral Leadership and the Pastor and approved by the Association Minister.  Specific terms of the compensation package may be mutually reviewed by the Council and the Pastor on an annual basis at the request of the Council or the Pastor, and modifications to the compensation package may be made only by mutual agreement of the Council and the Pastor.  The Call Agreement is for an indefinite period and may not be terminated except as provided in Section D of this Article.

 

C. Call of the Pastor(s):  Among the steps involved in calling a pastor(s) are these:

 

1. The Governing Body shall elect a Committee on Pastoral Leadership with not less than seven nor more than ten members, and one member to be under twenty years of age.

 

2. The Diaconate shall arrange for temporary supply of the pulpit and pastoral ministry as             needed, preferably by means of an Interim Pastor.

 

 

     3. The Committee on Pastoral Leadership, in consultation with the Central Southeast         Association of the Ohio Con­ference of the United Church of Christ, and other appro­priate             agencies, shall seek a candidate for presentation to the membership.

 

4. Upon finding a favorable candidate by 2/3 agreement, the Committee on Pastoral             Leadership shall present the name at a duly called meeting of the Governing Body.  A favorable vote of two‑thirds of those present constitutes a call.

 

D.  The election of the Pastor(s) shall be for an indefinite period. In order to terminate this relationship, the Pastor(s) must give sixty days’ notice and the Church Council shall act on such resig­nation.  The church, for its part, may terminate this relation­ship giving ninety days’ notice, after using the following proce­dure:  The Church Council shall consider the case for proposed dismissal at a meeting called specifically for that purpose, prior to which the Pastor(s) shall have been given at least ten days’ notice in writing of the pending action and the church shall have sought the counsel of the Central Southeast Association of the Ohio Conference of the United Church of Christ.  The Pastor(s) may attend such meeting of the Council and shall be given full opportunity for a hearing with whatever assistance he or she may choose.  The Council shall then consider the subject in closed session without the Pastor(s).  If a majority vote of the Council favors dismissal, a special meeting of the Governing Body shall be called and the matter presented, allowing the Pastor(s) ample opportunity to comment.  If the majority of members present favor dismissal, it shall take effect in ninety days, and the action shall be reported promptly to the United Church of Christ and its Association.

 

E.  The church shall engage such other professional staff members as it may desire and such other employees as may prove necessary or desirable.  All such staff members and employees shall be hired by the Personnel Committee and shall be subject to the supervision and direction of the Pastor(s) under plans recommend­ed by the Personnel Committee and approved by the Church Council.  All such employees will be hired under contracts with specified duties and fixed terms, to be reviewed and executed annually, from January 1st to December 31st, by the Pastor(s) and/or the Personnel Committee.

 

F.  There shall be a Pastor’s(s’) Discretionary Fund for which collections may be taken at every celebration of the Sacrament of Communion, and at other times if needed. The Pastor(s) will be responsible for the distribution of said funds.

 

ARTICLE XI.  DEPARTMENTS AND COMMITTEES

A.  Committees and other organized groups within the church shall be grouped, unless otherwise designated by the Church Council, into five Departments for purposes of coordina­tion and cooperation among those with similar or interrelated functions, as detailed in this Article.

 

B.  The Departments shall be:  Church and Ministry, Mission and Service, Christian Educa­tion, Stewardship, and the Diaconate.

 

C.  The five Department Boards shall consist of a minimum of four elected department members, including the Chairperson.  (See Article XI, Item J, #1 for Diaconate description.)

 

D.  Each Department Board member shall be elected by the governing body at the Annual Meeting.  New members of each board shall be elected each year for two-year terms.

 

E.  Within each Department there shall be such committees and other organized groups or areas of concern as the Governing Body, the Department, or the Church Council may from time to time determine, based on the principles embodied in the following sections of this Article.

 

 

F.  Church and Ministry

 

1.  Function:

a.  General pastoral care;

b. The upholding and furthering of excellence in ministry and discipleship;

c. The development of a deepening sense of fellowship in belonging to the local church                        and the Church Universal, the whole people of God.

 

2.  Areas of responsibility shall include but not be limited to:

a.  Worship

b.  Music

c.  Ushering

d.  Flowers

e.  Receptions

f.  Fellowship and Social Functions

 

G.  Mission and Service

 

1. Function:

a. A continuing assessment of the hopes and needs of the world ‑‑ at the local, state,                          national and international levels.

b. A continuing assessment of the capacities and talents of this church and other                                groups.

c. Guided by the Holy Spirit, the determination of specific action arising out of a                                 creative tension between the hopes and the needs of the world on the one hand and, on                    the other hand, the capacities and talents of the church and others to act.

 

2. Areas of responsibility shall include:

a.  Social Concerns;

b.  Mission;

c.  Other areas of service that may be of interest to our congregation.

 

H.  Christian Education

 

1. Function:  Seek to provide an appropriate climate and program within which persons of all ages may grow and develop into a deepening relationship with God and the community of  faith.

2.  Areas of responsibility shall include:

a.  Children’s Ministry

b.  Youth Ministry

c.  Adult Education

d.  Library and Audiovisuals

e.  Leadership and Training

f.  Camping and Retreats

g.  Others.

 

  1. Stewardship

 

1. Function:

a. Confronting individuals and the church with the reality of God’s claim on our lives                         and with the continuing need to make real our commitment to God in response.

b. Promotion of responsible action with regard to the financial claims of the whole                              church, both the local and wider church.

 

                 c. Care for the total property and resources of the Church in trust from God, who holds                      us accountable for our stewardship.

 

2. Areas of responsibility shall include:

a.  Overseeing and evaluating the financial operation of the church: its funds,                           investments, and budgets;

b.  Preparing a proposed budget to submit to the Church Council for approval or                                  alteration before final presentation to the Governing Body;

c.  Overseeing the upkeep, maintenance, and use of church facilities and property.

d.  Organizing and effecting the enlistment program.

e.  Encouraging bequests for the Investment Trust Fund from the church membership.

 

J.  Diaconate

 

1.  The Diaconate shall consist of eight persons.  It shall meet regularly or at the call of         the Pastor(s).

 

2.  The Diaconate shall assist the Pastor(s)

a.  in the preparation and administering of the sacra­ments;

b.  in the orientation, receiving, and assimilating of new members; and

c.  in the ministry of compassion to all members, particularly those in need, those                              infirm, and those aggrieved.

d.  Called-to-care members appointed by the Diaconate may assist the Diaconate in                          the above duties including giving communion to shut-ins.

 

3.  The Diaconate shall encourage members of this church to participate in the faithful      practice of discipleship, and in fulfilling the high standards of requirements for membership.

 

4.  The Diaconate shall keep the membership roll current each year and counsel with those members who are inac­tive in order to activate them or to recommend to the Church Council their movement to inactive status.  Those with inactive status may be granted letters of transfer to another church or granted active status in the future.

 

K.  Special Task Forces ‑ The Council may from time to time establish a task force(s) to accomplish a specific purpose(s) not clearly falling within the responsibility of one of the estab­lished Boards.

ARTICLE XII.  PROPERTY

A.  The church may, in its corporate name, sue or be sued, ac­quire by purchase, gift, devise, bequest or otherwise and own, hold, invest, reinvest or dispose of property both real and personal, own, receive, hold, manage, care for and transfer, rent, lease, mortgage or otherwise encumber, sell, assign, trans­fer and convey such property for the general purposes of the church; it may receive and hold in trust both real and personal property and invest and reinvest the same and make any contracts for promoting the goals and purposes of the church.

 

 

B.  The church may, at any time, receive gifts and bequests in the form of cash, stocks, bonds, securities, and tangible and intangible personal property so long as the designated uses do not encumber the purposes of the church, impair the aesthetic value of the property, or infringe upon the rights of members. The determination for acceptance of such gifts may be made by the Chairperson of the Church Council so long as the value of the gift(s) does not exceed five percent of the church’s annual budget. If the value exceeds five percent of the church’s annual budget, then formal acceptance shall be required by a majority vote of the Church Council. In the event that real estate is offered to the church as a gift, the acceptance of such a gift shall require the positive vote of two-thirds of the Church Council which shall consider not only the criteria set forth above for personal property but also whether the ownership of the real estate may incur excessive management or operational expenses or fines, penalties and or expenses for violations of the Superfund Law and other similar legislation and regulations. All gifts and bequests accepted by the church shall be used only as directed by the donor. If no designation is made by the donor, the gift’s use shall be determined by a majority vote of the Church Council if the gift does not exceed a value of five percent of the church’s annual budget. All undesignated gifts exceeding five percent of the church’s annual budget shall be used as determined by a majority vote of the Church Council subject to appproval of the Governing Body. The principal and income of designated investment funds may be invaded only upon authorization by a two thirds vote at a duly called meeting of the Governing Body. The Investment Trust Fund income shall be allocated 25% to missions and 75% to maintenance, repair, or addition to church property.

 

C.  Upon dissolution of the church, its assets and all property and interests of which it shall then be possessed, including any devise, bequest, gift or grant contained in any will or other instrument, in trust or otherwise, made before or after such dissolution, shall be transferred, after an escrow period of 2 years, to the Central Southeast Ohio Association of the Ohio Conference of the United Church of Christ.  (It is not required by the General Synod, and it is the intent to make it clear that the United Church of Christ stands firmly on Article IV, Section 15 of the Denomination Constitution.  Under the Internal Revenue Service regulations, if there is not a specific disavowal that the assets on dissolution will be distributed to the membership, the church will not qualify as an exempt organization.  See Internal Revenue Code Sec. 501 (c) (3) and the regulations there­under.)

 

ARTICLE XIII.  CHURCH‑RELATED ORGANIZATIONS

This church shall maintain relationships with such church‑related organizations as the Governing Body or the Church Council may determine.

 

A.  The Church Council shall instruct the appropriate Department Chairperson to appoint, after prior consent of the appointees, whatever number of representatives may be permitted this church by the constitution and by‑laws of such organization.

 

B.  The Governing Body shall elect delegates to Ohio Conference and Central Southeast Association annual meetings.

 

ARTICLE XIV.  RULES OF POLICY

A. Rules of Policy, consistent with this Constitution, shall be approved by the Church Council when pro­posed in written form and as proposed by any group under this constitution to amplify duties or procedures in more detail than set forth herein.

 

B.  A current written statement of all such Policies shall be maintained by the Clerk in the church office and shall be avail­able for inspection and reference.  All such policies shall be reviewed by the Church Council and amended as necessary.

 

ARTICLE  XV.  AMENDMENTS

This Constitution may be altered or amended at a congregational meeting of the Governing Body in the following manner:

 

A.  Notice of the congregational meeting to alter or amend the Constitution shall be mailed to the Governing Body four weeks prior to the meeting and shall be given from the pulpit and printed in the Church Bulletin once each week for not less than one month preceding the meeting.

 

 

B.  A copy of the proposed alterations or amendments shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the Church property for one month and copies shall be made available to all members of the Church.

 

C.  There shall be present at any meeting of the Governing Body of which alterations or amendments are to be considered not less than twenty‑five percent of the resident members of the Church.

 

D.  Alterations or amendments must receive a favorable vote of not less than seventy‑five percent of the votes cast to become effective.

 

E.  At any congregational meeting in which motions for amendment of the Church Constitution are to be considered, pursuant to paragraphs A through D of this Article, any motions so entered may be amended before a final vote is taken, in accordance with the standard rules of parliamentary procedure.

 

ARTICLE XVI.  CONSTITUTION REVIEW

This Constitution shall be studied and reviewed every five years by the Church Council for possible changes or whenever one of the Church Boards requests such a review.

 

 

Pursuant to Article XVI, this Constitution was last reviewed on ­­January 19, 2014.

 

 

 

FILE:  CHURCH CONSTITUION (Microsoft Word)