THE CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS OF
REDEEMER LUTHERAN CHURCH
DEER RIVER, MINNESOTA
PART I. PREAMBLE
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.
Since, according to God's Word (I Cor. 14:40 and Col. 2:5) everything is to be done in order and decency, we, the members of this congregation, in this present document, state the rules and regulations by which the congregation and its individual members are to be governed.
The Name Of The Congregation
The name of this congregation shall be: Redeemer Lutheran Church, Deer River, Minnesota.
The Confession Of The Congregation
This congregation accepts all the Canonical books of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired and revealed Word of God.
It likewise accepts all of the Symbolical books of the Lutheran Church as a clear and correct explanation of the Bible truths.
These symbols are:
- The Three Ecumenical Creeds
- The Apostolic Creed
The Nicene Creed
The Athanasian Creed
The Apology of the unaltered Augsburg Confession
The Smalcald Articles
Luther's Large Catechism
Luther's Small Catechism
The Formula of Concord as contained in the Book of Concord of 1580
This congregation shall at all times be affiliated with the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod.
If at any time, which, may God in His grace avert, a separation shall take place in the congregation on account of doctrine, or some other cause, the property of the congregation and all the benefits connected therewith, shall remain with those members who continue with synodical affiliation.
The pastoral office in this congregation shall be exercised only by pastors having the following qualifications:
- They must profess their acceptence of and adherence to all the canonical books of the Old and New Testament as the inspired Word of God, and all the symbolical books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church enumberated in Article II as derived from such Word of God;
- They must have a good report, also of them that are without;
- Their orthodoxy and aptness to teach must have been tried and approved by the Synod of which this congregation is a member;
- They must have been called (not hired) by the congregation as such (not by a committee or board).
Any Christian person may be admitted to membership in this congregation as such who:
- has received Christian Baptism.
- accepts the confessional basis of the congregation as set forth in Article II of the constitution.
- is willing to be governed in his church life by this constitution and its by-laws.
- does not belong to any anti-scriptural lodge or society, and does not live in manifest works of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21).
- and will strive to fulfill the duties of membership as set forth below:
As a steward of God, it shall be the duty of every member of this congregation:
- to live a Christian Life, endeavoring in his conduct to manifest the fruits of the Spirit. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, faith, meekness, temperance..." Gal. 5:22-23.
- to make diligent use of the Means of Grace, hearing the Word of God regularily and receiving the Lord's Supper frequently.
- to pray for the congregation and its members, the pastor ans his ministry inthe community, ans for the missionary program of the church both at home and abroad.
- to engage in personal missionary workthrough witnessing to the unchurched of the community and seeking to win them for Christ and His Church.
- to bring up his children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord by:
- having his children baptized as soon as possible after birth, having only Christian sponsors:
- providing for their training in pure Christian doctrine.
- to contribute according to his ability toward the support of the church and schools.
- in a general way to assist in bearing the burdens of the congregation.
- and to avoid all manifest and secret "cliques" within the congregation.
Right of Sufferage
Only such members of this congregation shall be entitled to vote who are eighteen years of age.
Only such members are eligible for holding office who have been a member for one year.
In the public services of this congregation only such hymns, and in all ministeral acts only such forms are to be used as are in harmony with the teachings of the Bible and the Confessions.
When a member of this congregation, after fruitless admonition in the various grades prescribed by the Word of God (Matt. 18:15-20), where the observance of such grades has been possible, shall have been expelled from the congregation, such excommunicated person shall then have forfeited all rights of a member in this congregation and all claims upon the property of the congregation until such time as he be again received as a member. The same shall also apply to such members who may have refused to submit to church dicipline and thus have severed their connections with the congregation, as also those who have moved to a different territory which is out of the bounds of the congregation.
Amendments to this constitution must be presented in writing at a regular meeting of the congregation and be received by a simple majority vote of the members first; adoption requires a two-thirds majority vote of members present at the succeeding regular meeting of the congregation.
PART II. BY-LAWS OF REDEEMER LUTHERAN CHURCH
Reception Of New Members
All members desiring membership in this congregation shall give notice of their intentions to the pastor, and in an interview with the pastor give satisfactory evidence of their qualifications. Such eligible persons who are willing to be governed in their Church membership by this constitution shall become a regular member after signing the constitution.
If an applicant has been a member of a sister congregation, he must present to the congregation a letter of dismissal or transfer.
Meetings Of The Congregation
The regular voters' meetings of this congregation shall be four in number during each calendar year, to be held in the months of January, April, july, and October. Special meetings may be called as necessity demands, by the congregational President, by the board of elders, or by the pastor. Every regular meeting shall be announced on the previous Sunday. It shall be the duty of every voting member to attend the meetings of this congregation regularly. The absent members submit to the majority. Eight voting members constitute a quorum.
The congregation shall elect the following officers to cary on its work and ministry: three Elders, plus one additional elder for each fifty baptized or communicant members over 150; up to five trustees; a president, secretary, treasurer, and financial secretary. The Elders and Trustees shall be elected for a term of three years, in such manner that one third are elected each year. The other officers are elected annually.
Duties of Officers
- The Elders
In general, the duties of the elders shall be to assist their pastor in the spiritual oversight of the congregation and in preserving decency and order within the congregation. They shall see that the Gospel be preached in its purity, in accordance with sound Lutheran faith; that the necessary provisions be made for instruction of the young; and that Christian dicipline be maintained. It shall also be the duty of the elders, in the absence of the pastor, to make necessary arrangements to have a sermon read which was appointed by the pastor. They shall assist the pastor in his care of the sick and needy, in the cultivation of peace, harmony, and love among the members, in the promotion of the general welfare of the congregation, in the furtherance of Christ's kingdom at home and abroad. They shall also set their own household and the whole Christian congregation the example of a devout Christian life.
- The Trustees
The trustees shall administer the temporal affairs of the congregation, and keep its property in good repair. The board of trustees shall legally hold the property in the name of the congregation and shall have custody of the deeds and other valuable papers and documents. The trustees shall not buy property, sell or mortgage any of the congregation's property without authorization by a voters' meeting.
- The President
The president shall preside at all meetings of the congregation unless the meeting otherwise decides. It shall be his duty to see that the decisions of the congregation be carried out. In the absence of the president, the president shall appoint a temporary chairman or the meeting shall elect a temporary chairman.
- The Secretary
It shall be the duty of the secretary to keep and record the minutes of each meeting and to take care of all correspondence of the voters' assembly.
- The Treasurer
The treasurer shall keep an account of all monies and commercial papers of the congregation. He shall make a quarterly report at the regular meetings of the congregation, also at any time the congregation may request it. The congregation may require that the treasurer be placed under bonds.
- The Financial Secretary
The financial secretary shall keep accurate records of all receipt of funds, and, together with the treasurer submit a written report to the congregation each quarter.
- Election of all offices to be filled shall be by ballot at the October meeting of the congregation.
- The chairman shall appoint an elections committee at this meeting to supervise the voting and count the ballots.
- A nomination committee, consisting of the Board of Elders and the pastor, shall nominate one additional candidate, besides the incumbent, to each elective office before the October meeting. If a vacancy exists in any office, it shall nominate two candidates for the office.
- At the time of the election, any member os the congregation may niminate additional candidates from the floor.
Order of Business
- Opening devotions.
- Reading of minutes.
- Reception of new members.
- Reports of boards and committees.
- Financial Secretary.
- Special committees.
- Unfinished business.
- New business.
- Adjournment with prayer.
Reports of Organizations
The secretary of each auxiliary organization shall submit a report of the organization's activities to the January meeting of the congregation.
The pastor is required to keep accurate records of his ministerial acts in a book provided by the congregation and which shall remain the property of the congregation. He shall report those statistics to the congregation annually, and when required, to the synod.
Suggested amendments to those By-Laws must be presented in writing at a regular meeting. The passing of such amendments requires a two-thirds majority vote to the members present.
- The Elders