F R E N C H R I V E R L U T H E R A N C H U R C H
B Y – L A W S T O T H E C O N S T I T U T I O N
Adopted by Council Resolution January 6, 2009
Fiscal Year: The fiscal year for French River Lutheran Church (hereafter FRLC) shall be from January 1, through December 31 of each year.
Annual Congregational Meeting: The Annual Congregational Meeting of FRLC shall be held on one of either the third, fourth, or fifth Sunday in January, as determined annually by the Church Council no later than the regular November meeting of the Council. Notification of the meeting time and date shall be made by means of the monthly Church news bulletin (The Parables) and any additional means deemed appropriate.
Officers: The Officers of FRLC shall be a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Financial Secretary.
- President: The President shall be elected annually by the FRLC Council from its membership, at the first Council meeting following the Annual Meeting.
3.02. Vice-President: The Vice-President shall be elected annually by the FRLC Council from its membership, at the first Council meeting following the Annual Meeting.
- The President of the FRLC Council shall also be the President of the Congregation. The President shall develop meeting agendas for each Council meeting in collaboration with the Church Pastor, and shall preside over Council meetings. The President shall have oversight responsibilities of all standing committees of the FRLC as an ex-officio committee member.
a. The Vice-President shall preside at meetings of the FRLC Council and
Congregation in the absence of the President, and shall accept .
delegated responsibilities by the President.
- Secretary: The Secretary shall be elected annually by the FRLC Council from its membership, at the first Council meeting following the Annual Meeting.
3.04. Treasurer: The Treasurer shall elected annually by the FRLC
- The Secretary shall record the minutes of all FRLC Council and Congregational meetings, and shall be responsible for all correspondence to the Council, and shall initiate communications and correspondence as directed by the Council.
Congregation from its membership, at the Annual Meeting. a. The Treasurer shall keep an accurate and timely financial record of the Congregation, shall remit payment of all financial obligations, and shall prepare and submit to the Council, a monthly report of the financial condition of the congregation.
3.05. Financial Secretary: The Financial Secretary shall be elected annually by the FRLC Congregation from its membership, at the Annual Meeting.
a. Duties: The Financial Secretary shall keep an accurate, timely, and confidential record of FRLC member financial contributions, in cash and in kind, and shall prepare quarterly and annual confidential account statements to members on a timely basis.
4.0 Bank of Record: The Bank of record for conduct of the Church’s financial affairs shall be designated at the Annual Meeting by simple majority, and minutes memorializing the decision will be provided to that Financial Institution.
4.01 Signatories: Church officers authorized as signatories for checking and credit or debit transactions shall be the Treasurer and the Council President, as well as others as deemed necessary and appropriate by Council majority. Minutes of these authorizing motions and specimen signatures shall be provided to the designated Financial Institution.
4.0 Audit Committee: A committee of three (3) persons shall be elected (C13.03) each year at the FRLC Annual Meeting, to conduct a financial review or audit at the end of the year, in the first calendar quarter, of the subsequent year. Committee members shall not be members of the Congregation Council. They shall serve a one (1) year term, and be eligible for three (3) consecutive terms.
a. Standard Accounting Practices shall be used, whether a financial review or a complete audit is prescribed by the Finance Committee.
b. All financial accounts of the church shall be subject.
c. The FRLC Council, at its discretion, may from time to time budget for an audit to be conducted by a qualified outside accountant.
d. A written report of the Annual Financial Review or Audit shall be prepared in a timely manner by the Audit Committee, shall be reviewed and accepted by the FRLC Council, and be made available to the Congregation.
5.0 Memorial Committee: The Memorial Committee shall consist of the Pastor and four (4) members, one (1) of which shall be nominated annually by and from the FRLC Council. Three (3) members shall be elected from the congregation at its Annual Meeting to serve three-year terms. There will be one term expiration from the committee each year. Committee membership shall be limited to two consecutive terms.
6.0 Membership Removal: Pursuant to FRLC Constitution (C8.05) a member may be removed from the Active Roll of Membership who has not attended a church service, has not communed, and has not made a financial gift of record within the preceding 24 months. Removal of a member’s name from the Active Roll shall be allowed by the Pastor only with the approval of the FRLC Council. Such member shall then be listed as “Inactive” in the Congregational census.
6.01 Persons who have been removed from the Active Roll of Membership shall remain persons for whom the FRLC has a continuing pastoral and congregational concern.
6.02 An Annual Roster Review shall be conducted in the third calendar quarter, by the FRLC Council or its appointee(s), and shall report the findings of this review to the Council for action pursuant to 6.0.
- Stewardship Committee:
The mission of the French River Lutheran Church (FRLC) Stewardship Committee is to enthusiastically promote Christian stewardship of the gifts that God has entrusted to us in pursuit of our community’s mission to witness Christ’s presence in the world and to respond to the challenge of the Gospel.
We seek to foster stewardship as a complete, comprehensive way of life by:
• Receiving God’s gifts gratefully;
• Cultivating God’s gifts responsibly;
• Sharing God’s gifts lovingly with others, and
• Returning God’s gifts with increase to the glory of the Lord
We seek the Holy Spirit’s help in accepting the Church’s invitation to encourage and promote the use our personal gifts of time, talent, money, and other resources to integrate the practice of stewardship throughout our congregation.
- The Stewardship Committee is a standing committee established in the FRLC bylaws.
- The committee shall have the responsibilities of cultivating and encouraging strong stewardship in the members of FRLC and responding to the goals set forth by the Council.
- Help plan, develop, and implement annual capital fundraising/stewardship pledge drive.
- When requested by the Council, investigate and provide proposals of support relative to special offerings, fund drives, initiatives, projects, etc.
- Work in conjunction with other committees—when appropriate and requested by those committees—for garnering support and resources for Council-approved projects.
- Take direction from and lend assistance to the Memorial Committee in encouraging and supporting memorial-related activities, when appropriate.
Qualifications. The Stewardship Committee shall consist of up to 7 members of FRLC who demonstrate good stewardship as disciples of the Lord. Members are willing to assist in developing and sharing a dynamic vision of stewardship with other parishioners and other committees within a consultative framework that reflects the talents and gifts of the FRLC membership and our community.
Selection. Stewardship members may be self-nominated or recommended by members of the past Stewardship Committee, Council members, and the Pastor. Nominees will be presented to the Stewardship Committee for their consideration and will be invited to join upon consensus of the Committee.
All committee members will serve at the pleasure of the Council and the Pastor.
Committee members are appointed for 3-year terms, ideally with members’ terms staggered so that only a portion of the committee turns over each year. Parishioners may be elected to consecutive terms at the recommendation and consensus of the committee. Members of the committee are committed to their role and will make every effort to attend all scheduled meetings and appropriate functions.
The Committee will follow a spirit of equal membership and selects leadership positions for various functions persuasion. All members are encouraged to assume leadership positions during their term on the committee.
Although quarterly meetings are recommended as a minimum standard, the committee will meet at the discretion of the Chair.
Updating This Charter
The Charter of the Stewardship Committee shall be reviewed at least every 3 years or upon the request of the Council or Pastor. The committee will recommend updated charters to the Council and Pastor for approval.
8.0 Christian Education Committee:
The mission of the Christian Education Committee is to glorify God by providing children with a spiritual, academic, and social environment in which Christ is the foundation of their learning experience.
- The Christian Education Committee is a standing committee established in the FRLC bylaws.
- The Christian Education Committee shall:
- select, order and distribute teaching curriculum for Sunday School and Vacation Bible School;
- recruit teachers and volunteers to support the Christian Education programs;
- plan the Rally Day celebration;
- plan holiday youth programs, such as the Easter Egg Hunt and the Christmas program; and
- annually elect a Vacation Bible School Director to coordinate Vacation Bible School.
- The Christian Education Committee will be chaired by the Sunday School Superintendent.
- The Christian Education Committee will consist of the:
- Sunday School Superintendent,
- Sunday School teachers,
- FRLC Council liaison, and
- a representative from the FRLC Youth Ministry Committee.
The Christian Education Committee will meet at a minimum of four times per academic year.
9.0 Outreach-Hospitality Committee:
The purpose of the Outreach/Hospitality Committee is to:
- Extend hospitality to anyone coming into our church.
- Reach out to those outside the fellowship of our congregation and extend a warm welcome.
1. The Outreach/Hospitality Committee is a standing committee established in the FRLC bylaws.
2. The Outreach/Hospitality Committee shall:
- Identify areas of service.
- Address identified needs.
- Recognize people who may be interested in formalizing their connections with FRLC.
- Extend a warm welcome to everyone.
- Show hospitality to those entering our church for any reason.
The Outreach/Hospitality Committee shall consist of a chairperson, a pastor, one Church Council member and any other interested members of FRLC.
The Outreach/Hospitality Committee shall elect a chairperson annually to call and organize committee meetings.
The committee will meet monthly on the 4th Tuesday of the month but may meet more or less frequently at the discretion of the chairperson.
10.0 Social Ministry Committee:
The Social Ministry Committee, moved with compassion and in keeping with Church-wide policies of a “Sufficient, Sustainable Livelihood for all”, addresses significant social issues affecting spiritual, physical and financial common good at all levels of community: Local, State, National, Global.
1. The Social Ministry Committee is a standing committee established in the FRLC bylaws.
2. Awareness: Inform the congregation of issues affecting the common good in our local, state, national and global communities.
3. Advocate: Provide the congregation with information needed to advocate for policies affecting the common good and encourage their participation in letter and phone campaigns to appropriate authorities and agencies.
4. Support: Support individuals, programs and/or agencies which address social needs affecting the common good with our donations of talent, finance, or materials.
5. Engage: Engage members through Scriptural encouragement and provide resources needed according to individual talent or interest.
6. Refer: Provide information to the congregation regarding community programs providing medical, social, financial support for individuals and families so they may seek out help while maintaining personal privacy.
The Social Ministry Committee shall consist of all confirmed Church members. All are encouraged to participate in the Church-wide mission for social wellbeing and common good.
The Social Ministry Committee shall elect a chair annually who will call and organize committee meetings.
The committee will meet twice a year, spring and fall and as called by the chair.
11.0 Worship and Music Committee:
The task of the Worship and Music (W&M) committee is to plan, coordinate, and support the worship services of FRLC.
The W&M Committee is a standing committee established in the FRLC bylaws.
The W&M Committee is responsible for:
1. Coordinating musicians and choirs, planning for special services, and ensuring the upkeep of the instruments of the church.
2. Being aware of special worship emphases of the ELCA.
3. Being aware of new worship materials for enhancing the worship experience.
4. Finding ways to vary the worship service with special artistic expressions, i.e. banners, musical instruments, art work, etc.
5. Recommending the purchase of supplies and equipment related to the worship experience, i.e. sound system, lighting, etc.
6. Submitting budget requests to the finance committee annually.
Sub-groups within this committee are: Altar Guild, Lector Captain and Head Usher.
The W&M Committee shall consist of representatives of the choirs, altar guild, organists, lectors, and interested members of the congregation as well as a liaison from the FRLC Church Council who will bring communication to and from the Council.
The W&M Committee shall elect a chair annually to call and organize committee meetings.
The committee will meet bimonthly and as necessary throughout the year.
12.0 Youth Committee:
The task of the Youth Committee is to help advise and promote youth education, youth involvement and youth activities at FRLC.
1. The Youth Committee is a standing committee established in the FRLC bylaws.
2. To be an advocate of FRLC in helping advise and promoting Youth Education for middle school youth to young adults.
3. To help support and organize programs which will promote and educate our youth at FRLC to become active adult members.
The Youth Committee shall consist of a Youth Director, parents of youth, youth representative(s), and lay members from the congregation.
The Youth Committee shall elect a chair aside from the Youth Director annually to call and organize committee meetings.
The committee will meet at least quarterly in August, November, February and May.
13.0 Staff Relations Committee:
The task of the Staff Relations Committee is to establish and follow policy for maintaining appropriate staffing as needed at French River Lutheran Church.
The Staff Relations Committee is a standing committee established in the FRLC bylaws.
- Provide overall policy guidance for personnel matters in the church.
- Submit, for final approval, recommendations on personnel policy matters to the FRLC Council.
- Post job openings, conduct interviews and make hiring recommendations to FRLC Council.
- Maintain the FLRC Handbook and accurate job descriptions for all paid and volunteer positions.
- Conduct annual staff reviews
- In November of each year, provide a budget recommendation to the FRLC Council addressing compensation, benefits, training
- Annually evaluate its work as a committee and the objectives it has committed itself to and report on same to the FRLC Council.
- Appointments to the committee are made by the FRLC Council.
- The committee may consist of at least 3 and not more than 4 members.
The Staff Relations Committee meets on an as needed basis and conducts staff reviews annually in October.
14.0 Long-Range Planning Committee:
The task of the Long Range Planning Committee is to analyze, understand and communicate the long range needs of the congregation and of the church, in accordance with the church’s mission.
1. The Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC) is a standing committee established in the FRLC bylaws.
2. The LRPC is responsible for conducting open congregational forums, surveys and other activities aimed at obtaining thoughts, perceptions and ideas about the current state of the church, and to solicit input as to the long range strategies needed to effectively pursue the mission of FRLC.
3. The LRPC is responsible for outlining and collating the results of these studies in a written report to the FRLC Council for prioritization and action.
4. The LRPC is responsible for submitting a written prioritized report to the FRLC office for inclusion in the FRLC Annual Report.
5. The LRPC is responsible to communicate findings to the congregation, as needed.
The LRPC shall consist of any congregational member interested in participating in the long range planning process. Open forums for long range planning discussions will be made available to the congregation. Other FRLC committee chairs and committee members will be encouraged to be members of this committee.
The Church Council Representative to this Committee will be considered the active chair and will organize these meetings for the congregation. If the Church Council Representative is unable to serve as chair, then the Church Council will appoint a chair for this committee.
The Committee will meet at least yearly, with additional meetings held as needed.
15.0 Nominating Committee
The task of the Nominating Committee is to solicit and recommend members at the annual meeting to serve on the Church Council for a 3 year term.
- To review and create a list of eligible candidates to serve on the Church Council
- To present the list of eligible candidates to the Church Council at least one month prior to the Annual Meeting
- To present a list of eligible candidates for Nominating Committee at the Annual Meeting
The membership of the Nominating Committee shall consist of three members of the congregation with one being an exiting Council member who shall be replaced annually. The two at-large members shall serve alternating two year terms, with a two consecutive term limitation. The Nominating Committee members are presented to and voted on at the Annual Meeting. The Committee shall be self governing, and shall report to the FRLC Council prior to the Annual Meeting.
The Nominating Committee will meet beginning on or about the first of December to start the selection process and to have the list of eligible candidates available to the Church Council for its January meeting prior to the annual meeting. Additional meeting times may be necessary and made at the request of the Council President if any vacancy occur on the Church Council during the course of the year. Requests should be made as soon as the council member has resigned the Church Council.
16.0 Memorial Committee
The task of a Memorials Committee is to establish policy, prepare an inventory of potential memorial projects, and supervise the reception and disbursement of all memorial gifts given to the church.
Establishing policy and procedures in advance can assist families in choosing items that best support priority church ministry projects and help redirect unneeded or undesirable gifts.
1. The Memorials Committee is a standing committee established in the FRLC bylaws.
2. The committee meets quarterly to review account balances, draft policy and prioritize a list of items or projects which can be appropriately funded by memorial gifts.
3. The committee can publicize the list of needs and the opportunity members and friends of the church have to contribute to these needed items or projects. Projects can be in memory of a loved one who has died or in honor of a loved one who is still alive.
4. The committee should keep an accurate record of all memorial gift money received and distributed by the Memorials Committee through the church treasurer. The financial secretary should send donors (members and non-members) a formal IRS compliant acknowledgement letter or statement for all donations of $250 or more.
5. The committee will supervise the sending of thank-you notes for all memorial contributions.
6. The committee may disburse memorial gift fund money up to $500, consistent with fund designation, at their discretion through the church treasurer. Disbursements over $500 need to be approved by the church council.
As per FRLC Bylaws, the Memorial Committee shall consist of the Pastor and four (4) members, one (1) of which shall be nominated annually by and from the FRLC Council. Three (3) members shall be elected from the FRLC congregation at its Annual Meeting to serve three-year terms. There will be one term expiration form the committee each year. Committee membership shall be limited to two consecutive terms.
The FRLC Memorial Committee shall elect a chair annually to call and organize committee meetings.
The FLRC Memorial Committee will meet quarterly (March, June, September and December.)
17. Finance Committee
The task of the Finance Committee is to prepare an annual budget for the subsequent year, to be presented for FRLC Council approval at its December meeting.
1. The Finance Committee is a standing committee established in the FRLC bylaws.
2. The Committee shall supervise the management of the budget throughout the year.
Committee shall consist of the Treasurer, Financial Secretary, one FRLC Council member appointed annually, and two (2) at large members appointed by the Council for three year terms. There will be a limit of two (2) consecutive terms.
The Finance Committee shall elect a chair annually to call and organize committee meetings.
The Finance Committee shall meet annually in November to prepare an annual budget and as deemed necessary by the chair.
18. Wellness Committee
The task of the Wellness Committee is to promote the health and wellness of the members of FRLC and any others who are desirous of service.
1. The Wellness Committee is a standing committee established in the FRLC bylaws.
2. The Wellness Committee shall:
- Provide health education to all members.
- Provide specific health information to individuals/families as requested.
- Conduct health screening activities.
- Promote spiritual and holistic health and wellness.
- Interview candidates for the Parish Nurse position.
- Have a primary role in relating to the Parish Nurse in providing support:
- Offering advice re what needs to be done
- Assisting with projects.
- Taking on responsibilities as delegated by the Parish Nurse for the healing ministry.
The Wellness Committee shall consist of a chairperson and other FRLC members concerned about health who are committed to seeing that the health ministry of the church is carried out. If there is a Parish Nurse, he/she is a member of the committee.
The Wellness Committee shall elect a chairperson annually to call and organize committee meetings. The chairperson shall be a health care professional.
The committee will meet regularly during the academic year as scheduled by the chairperson.
19. Property Committee
The task of the Property Committee is to manage and maintain the real properties of French River Lutheran Church.
Responsibilities and Role:
The Property Committee shall consist of no fewer than five (5) church members, one of whom is a current Church Council member, acting as liaison to the Council.
- The property Committee is a standing committee of FRLC.
- The committee is charged with the supervision and maintenance of the physical church buildings and grounds.
- The committee will provide oversight and directive authority to an annual list of projects, installations, and upgrades to church properties. Prioritization and guidelines for the annual list will be determined by the committee after receiving the annual budget allocation. The annual list with cost estimates shall be presented to the FRLC Council at its regularly scheduled meeting in February. The approved annual list will become the annual working budget of the Property Committee.
- The Committee shall have the authority to approve changes to its budget determined to be prudent, necessary, or appropriate, up to $1500. Changes requiring expenditures in excess of $1500 shall be presented to the FRLC Council for approval.
- Members may serve the Committee without limit to terms.
- The Committee shall be self-organized, and shall schedule and call its own meetings.
- The Property Committee shall meet monthly at its discretion
- Meeting minutes shall be kept and made available by request of the Church Council.
CHANGES TO BY-LAWS:
Excerpt from Annual Meeting Minutes from January 22, 2012
- Motion was made, seconded and carried to approve the following change to the church bylaws. Section 3.05a – duties of the Financial Secretary. The change is outlined below in strikethrough and bold:
- “The Financial Secretary shall keep an accurate, timely, and confidential record of FRLC member financial contributions, in cash and in kind, and shall prepare
quarterly and annual confidential account statements to members on a timely basis.” Quarterly and annual is to be replaced with end of 4th month, end of 8th month, and end of year. This change will eliminate one mailing, going to 3 statements per year rather than 4.