By - Laws of Stanwood Union Church (UM-UP)

Reprinted May, 2005

 

  1. The by-laws of the Stanwood Union Church (UM-UP) of Stanwood, Iowa as a congregation and corporation shall always be subject to the constitution and Laws of the State of Iowa and also to the constitution and Discipline of the United Methodist Church and the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America.
  2. The Administrative Session shall consist of 12 members who shall be call “Lay Elders” who, after election by the congregation, shall be set apart (ordained) to the function of the office for which they have been elected.
  3. The pastor shall be the Administrative Officer, and as such shall be an ex-officio member of the Administrative Session and all committees of the church.
  4. The Administrative Session shall maintain and guide the general oversight of the administration, program, and spiritual life of the congregation in the following ways:
    1. Guarantee the instruction of the congregation in the meaning of baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and church membership.
    2. Record baptisms and marriages within the congregation and keep the membership rolls of the church.
    3. Receive members into the church.
    4. Grant transfer of membership to other churches.
    5. Supervise the church school, trustees, and all committees and groups of the congregation.
    6. Appoint representatives to the East Iowa Presbytery, the Second Area Mission Council, and the Iowa Conference.
    7. Participate with the pastor in the instruction, ordination, and installations of Lay Elders.
    8. Provide a church budget.
    9. Lead the congregation in the mission of the church.
    10. Exercise authority over the worship of the congregation.
    11. Exercise authority over the uses of church buildings and properties.
    12. Have authority over all the affairs and activities of the church except those matters as may specifically be accorded to the pastor, the congregation, or the higher judicatories.
  5. Unless otherwise announced, all meetings of the Administrative Session shall be open to all members of the congregation.
  6. The administrative Session shall meet according to a Standing Rule adopted by the Session:  The first Wednesday, of each month at 7:00 p.m.
  7. Special meetings of the Administrative Session shall be called by the pastor or chairperson of the Session.
  8. One over half of the Lay Elders plus the pastor shall constitute a quorum for meetings of the Administrative Session.
  9. Meetings of the Administrative Session shall be moderated by the Chairperson and/or pastor.
  10. The Annual Congregational Meeting and Charge Conference shall be held the first Sunday of January each year.
  11. Special meetings of the congregation may be called by request of the pastor with consent of the majority of the Administrative Session, or by request of Presbytery or the District Superintendent.
  12. Public notice of the time, place, and purpose of the meetings of the congregation must be given at least two (2) consecutive Sundays prior to the appointed time.
  13. Except in the Annual Meeting, at which any action may be taken, the business of a congregational meeting must be confined to those items specifically listed in the call for the meeting.
  14. The chairperson of the Administrative Session and/or the pastor shall moderate all congregational meetings.
  15. The Administrative Session shall keep the following membership rolls of the church:
    1. Active Church Members:  Those who have made a profession of faith in Christ, who have been baptized and received into the membership of the local church, and who are active in the church’s work and worship.  Such members are entitled to all the rights and privileges of the church, including the right to participate in the Lord’s Supper, to present children for baptism, to take part in meetings of the congregation, to vote and hold office.
    2. Inactive church members:  Those who, in the judgment of the Administrative Session, do not participate actively in the church’s work and worship.  These members are entitled to all the rights and privileges of the church except the right to take part in meetings of the congregation, to vote, and to hold office.
    3. Student church members:  The children and young people of the church families who are eligible to be enrolled in the church school and children’s and youth groups of the congregation and who are under its guidance and ministry.
  16. Persons are placed on the Inactive roll of the church by action of the Administrative Session following the Session’s attempt to counsel with these persons and restore them to activity in the Church’s work and worship.  Any member whose name is so transferred shall be notified of such action. 
  17. RESPONSIBILITIES OF COMMITTEES OF THE CONGREGATION:
    1. PASTOR-PARISH RELATIONS:

                                                             i.      To confer and counsel with the pastor to support the development of an effective ministry.

                                                          ii.      To interpret to the congregation the nature and function of the ordained ministry.

                                                        iii.      To evaluate annually the effectiveness of the pastor

                                                        iv.      To make financial support, employee benefit, and continuing education recommendations to the Administrative Session and congregation.

                                                           v.      To carry out, with the Trustee chairperson and pastor, an annual review of the parsonage to insure proper maintenance.

                                                        vi.      To work with the Presbytery and District Superintendent when there is a change of pastors.

    1. FINANCE

                                                             i.      To receive all requests for funds which are to be included in the annual budget, and from them compile the proposed budget to be present to the Administrative Session.

                                                          ii.      To work with the Stewardship committee to develop and implement plans for an Annual Every Member Commitment Program.

                                                        iii.      To administer the financial resources of the congregation in accord with the policies adopted by the Administrative Session.

                                                        iv.      To make provisions for the annual audit of the financial records and provide a report of the audit to the Administrative Session and congregation.

                                                           v.      To provide a financial secretary to receive the contributions to the local church, keep records of the contributions and their payments, and transfer them promptly to the treasurer.

    1. WORSHIP

                                                             i.      To work with the pastor and choir director to plan special worship services and oversee the worship of the congregation.

                                                          ii.      To provide ushers and candle lighters for worship services.

                                                        iii.      To provide communion stewards

                                                        iv.      To develop ways to aid the congregation in becoming increasingly aware of the purpose and meaning of worship.

                                                           v.      To recommend standards for placement of memorial gifts in the church as aids to worship.

    1. TRUSTEES

                                                             i.      To be responsible for any matters related to the real and personal property of the local church.

                                                          ii.      To make certain that the Articles of Incorporation of the local church are up to date.

                                                        iii.      To receive and administer all bequests made to the church.

                                                        iv.      To supervise the care of all property and equipment.

                                                           v.      So supervise the sale or purchase of property.

                                                        vi.      To be responsible for the use of church buildings in consultation with the pastor.

                                                      vii.      To be responsible for adequate insurance coverage on all church property.

                                                   viii.      To submit to the Committee on Finance annual budget requests for property maintenance and improvement.

                                                        ix.      To make an annual report to the Administrative Session and Congregation.

    1. EDUCATION:

                                                             i.      To work with the Sunday School Superintendent in the recruitment of teachers and work with the total education program of the church.

                                                          ii.      To keep the local church informed about education resources and curriculum: printed programs and materials, conferences, training programs, workshops, etc.

                                                        iii.      To plan for and promote the observance of Christian Education Sunday and the Christian Education offering.

                                                        iv.      To keep in touch with the Presbytery, District, Conference, and national boards and agencies that deal with education.

                                                           v.      To make an annual report to the Administrative Session and Congregation.

    1. MISSIONS:

                                                             i.      To educate the congregation in denominational missions.

                                                          ii.      To encourage the development, planning, and support of local mission work.

                                                        iii.      To obtain mission resources for the congregation.

                                                        iv.      To plan special mission events and encourage participation in those events outside the local church.

                                                           v.      To make an annual report to the Administrative Session and congregation.

    1. STEWARDSHIP:

                                                             i.      To serve as resource persons to the Administrative Session.

                                                          ii.      To work with the pastor in giving church-wide emphasis and appeal for service in the community.

                                                        iii.      To educate the congregation in the meaning of stewardship of time, talent, and resources.

                                                        iv.      To plan and promote the Annual Fund Raising programs of the church.

                                                           v.      To work with the Finance Committee.

                                                        vi.      To make an annual report to the Administrative Session and the congregation.

    1. NOMINATIONS AND PERSONNEL:

                                                             i.      To nominate persons from the congregation to serve on the Administrative Session and committees of the church.

                                                          ii.      To provide leadership and training for all persons assuming leadership positions.

                                                        iii.      To work with the Stewardship and Education Committees in planning and implementing an education program in the area of stewardship of time and abilities and leadership development.

                                                        iv.      To make an annual report to the Administrative Session and the congregation.

    1. MEMORIALS:

                                                             i.      To oversee the care and upkeep of memorial gifts.

                                                          ii.      To develop and maintain a suggested list of appropriate memorials.

                                                        iii.      To educate the congregation in the meaning of special gifts for the church.

                                                        iv.      To report to the Administrative Session and Congregation any gift that is received.