Last January, at our annual meeting, the church council proposed a revision to our church’s current constitution and bylaws. At our congregational meeting on November 15, we will hold discussion on this proposal and vote on whether to implement the revisions. We will have separate votes on the revisions to the constitution and the revisions to the bylaws.
While much of what is contained in these documents is “technical” language that can be difficult to wade through, the purpose and practical outcomes of the revisions fall into two primary areas:
1. Flexibility and adaptability in a changing ministry environment. Some of the revisions are meant to better differentiate between a) the relatively few matters that should indeed be enshrined in the Constitution (which has a very difficult revision process), b) the matters of church structure and operation that should be kept in the Bylaws (which has a moderately difficult revision process), and c) those matters that should be kept as “policy” or “tradition” of the church (which are easily amended).
This will allow us to better meet and adapt to the changing ministry needs of our congregation and community by giving us greater flexibility within these rules (by which we are legally bound) and reducing structural burdens. The revisions to the constitution are particularly focused in this area. They are almost entirely about “wording changes” that give us greater freedom in how we might structure our bylaws and operate our church.
2. Streamlined structures and processes for the purpose of ministry. The most significant revisions have to do with our church leadership structure and are intended to:
- streamline our leadership structure so that fewer person-hours are spent on “administration” and more hours are spent on actual ministry,
- allow people to work out of their areas of actual gifting rather than simply filling positions that are dictated by our bylaws, and
- implement a structure that better suits the current size and composition of our congregation by giving room for healthy leadership turnover.
Copies of the revised constitution and bylaws are available at the links below or from the church office, along with a comparison (with some commentary) of the current constitution/bylaws with that proposal (written by Pastor Luke). We encourage you to look through these documents in preparation for the November 15 vote and come to Pastor Luke or a member of the Church Council with any questions.
Pastor Luke (on behalf of the Church Council)