ZION EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CONGREGATION
According to the Word of God (I Corinthians 14:40) all things in a Christian Congregation are to be done “decently and in order”. Therefore, we, the members of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Congregation have adopted the following constitution whereby we agree to be governed as members of the Congregation.
The name of the congregation shall be: Zion Evangelical Lutheran Congregation, located at Dodge County, Clyman, Wisconsin, 53016.
2. ARTICLES OF FAITH
- This congregation accepts and confesses all the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God. We also accept all the symbolical books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church as contained in the Book of Concord of 1580 as a correct presentation and true exposition of Christian Doctrine, drawn from, and in full agreement with the Holy Scriptures. Therefore, no doctrine shall be taught or tolerated in this congregation that in any degree contradicts the following symbols of the Evangelical Lutheran Church:
- The Three Ecumenical Creeds: The Apostles’, The Nicene, & The Athanasian Creed
- The Unaltered Augsburg Confession
- The Apology of the Augsburg Confession
- The Smalcald Articles
- The Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope
- Luther’s Large and Small Catechism
- The Formula of Concord
- All controversies that may arise in this membership in synod shall be decided and adjusted according to this norm of doctrine and faith.
3. SYNODICAL MEMBERSHIP
- This congregation shall hold membership in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) as long as this Synod remains true to the Word of God and the Lutheran Confessions. It shall send its pastor and a lay delegate to the district conventions of the Synod.
- Baptized Members- Only such persons may become members and enjoy the rights and privileges of this congregation who: Have been baptized with water and in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Those baptized as infants at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Congregation, become a baptized member at that point.
- Communicant members are normally received through the rite of confirmation. Persons who bring with them letters of transfer from another congregation of the LCMS or a synod in fellowship with the LCMS, may on the strength of such letters, be received into communicant membership by the congregation. Those wishing to be accepted as members without such letters, must first announce their intention to the pastor. The pastor shall meet with such persons to ascertain if their faith corresponds with that of Zion Congregation. If there is no hindrance to receiving them into membership, the pastor will then communicate their desire to join the congregation to the Board of Elders. The applicants may be present at that meeting if they desire. If the Elders have no objections a recommendation for their acceptance will be made in the next congregational meeting.
- Communicant members are to declare acceptance and obedience to all canonical books of the Old and New Testaments without qualification as the only rule and norm of faith and life, as well as to the symbolical books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Such, however, who have no knowledge of the symbolical books should be familiar with Luther’s Small Catechism and declare their acceptance of the same.
- Do not live in manifest works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21) but lead Christian lives.
- Diligently hear the Word and partake of the Lord’s Supper frequently.
- Agree to submit themselves to this constitution.
- Submit also to the resolutions that the congregation may in its meetings adopt, as long as they are not contrary to the Word of God.
- In general, assist in bearing all its burdens (I Corinthians 16:2 and 9:14)
- Permit themselves to be admonished in brotherly love and corrected when they have erred (Matthew 18:15-20)
- Are free from all ungodly associations, such as Lodges (Ephesians 5:11-12, II Corinthians 6:14-18, Matthew 5:34-37).
- A voting membership is created by the congregation when a person has signed the constitution of the congregation. The privilege of voting on issues shall not be granted during the meeting at which an individual is received into voting membership but may exercise all rights and privileges at following meetings. They are expected to regularly attend all congregational meetings. New communicant members are strongly urged to sign the constitution to become voting members as soon as possible.
5. RIGHT OF SUFFRAGE AND ELIGIBILITY
Only such members of the congregation who have obtained their eighteenth year, are confirmed in the faith, and have signed this constitution shall have the right to vote. The privilege of voting on issues shall not be granted during the meeting at which an individual is received into voting membership according to Article 4 above.
- Only such members may be elected as church officials who are members of the congregation, who have led a life of faith, and witness to the Gospel of Christ. We recognize the right of suffrage given to women as well as the holding of limited offices. Women shall be eligible to serve in any office not specifically exercising functions of the Pastoral office. This is understood to preclude women serving as Congregation President, Vice President, a member of the Board of Elders or as Pastor of the congregation.
Every member of Zion Congregation is duty bound to be a good steward (manager) of the gifts which God bestows upon them. To each is given gifts in the form of TALENTS – or abilities that enable the individual to create, produce or otherwise obtain a lawful income and to accomplish tasks worthy of praise. To each is given a period of TIME – the precious gift of life itself and the portions of that life that we call years, months, days, etc. The gift of time is to be used productively, wisely, and to the glory of God. To each is given a portion of TREASURES – the accumulation of possessions of worth earned by honest labor or received as lawful gifts. Good stewardship should include a joyful return to God of a portion of the gifts each is given. Our gifts to God extend the work of the church into all areas of this world. Our stewardship of gifts must include worship, study, service and contributions of funds.
- CHURCH DISCIPLINE AND LOSING OF RIGHTS
Upon those who live in manifest sins, church discipline shall be exercised in this congregation according to the rule prescribed in God’s Word (Matthew 18:15-20). When such persons, after fruitless admonitions have been excommunicated, they thereby lose all rights of congregational membership until they have repented, become reconciled to the membership of the congregation and have been reinstated to the fellowship. The same applies to members of the congregation who willfully and voluntarily separate themselves from the regular hearing of the Word of God and reception of Christ’s Body and Blood in the Lord’s Supper. The latter group of individuals shall be dealt with in a manner prescribed by the Pastor with the Board of Elders.
Such members of the congregation who prove themselves upright Christians and ask for a release or transfer, for reasons consistent with the Word of God, the same shall be granted. It is self-evident that, having received a release or transfer, individuals lose all rights respecting congregational property. Within the scope of this article a release shall be understood to apply to individuals who are leaving Zion Congregation to join the fellowship of a church body not in fellowship with the The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). Transfers shall be granted to individuals who wish to join another congregation of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) or a church body that is in fellowship with the LCMS. The names of those who join heterodox churches, or whose whereabouts is unknown after a period of one year shall be removed from membership by the Voters’ Assembly. The Pastor and Board of Elders shall be tasked with the responsibility for completing transfers and releases in a timely manner. Actions taken shall be reported to the Church Council or Voters’ Assembly at the next meeting of either group. Termination of baptized membership shall be made for the same reasons as termination of communicant membership is made, so far as this is applicable. It is intended that the matter of membership, and changes of membership, shall be of grave concern so we may readily identify those souls that belong to our spiritual care. Individuals or families in the process of church discipline can only be granted release by the Pastor in consultation with the Church Council as such cases would be documented and would be subject to special concern.
- OFFICE OF THE PASTOR
The pastoral office of this congregation shall be conferred only on such ministers who profess and adhere to the confessional standard set forth in Article 2 of this constitution and who are qualified and endorsed for their work as certified by the LCMS. Pastors shall be pledged to this confessional standard.
- It is the duty of the pastor to preach the Word of God at every opportunity and to administer the Office of the Keys as the called servant of God and this congregation. He is specifically tasked with making sure that a proper schedule or worship and administration of the Sacraments is provided for the membership, with ample chance to be nourished spiritually.
- He shall make sure that services are scheduled for Sunday, holidays and festival occasions of the church year. All services shall comply with the traditions and forms of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS).
- Included in his duties shall be baptism of children of the congregation and those with whom there is a pastoral relationship that will provide opportunity for instruction in the Word and the confessions of this congregation in keeping with the promises made during the baptism of said children.
- He shall ensure that proper care shall be given to the preparation of those individuals, youth, and adult, who seek to become communicant members of this congregation. Preparation for membership MUST include instruction in the teachings of the Confessions, the Large and Small Catechisms and the Book of Concord. The Pastor shall work closely with the Board of Elders in the preparation, questioning and recommendation for confirmation of all members. Our objective in this matter is to prepare laborers for the Lord who are aware of the need for continued spiritual growth as part of Christian living.
- The Pastor shall administer the Lord’s Supper according to the Word of God and the traditions of the church, including private communion for those sick or home bound.
- The Pastor shall also show concern for those who neglect the nourishment of their souls in the Body and Blood of Christ. With the assistance of the elders, he shall seek to return such people to regular reception of the Lord’s gifts. A failure to return after two years of inactivity shall be grounds for release from the membership of Zion congregation.
- He shall provide Christian burial for those individuals whose lives provided a witness to the fact that they were followers of Christ and for those individuals whom he knows by personal contact to have confessed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ before death. The Pastor shall be the final authority regarding funeral services according to the guidelines prepared by Zion Congregation.
- He shall see that those individuals intending to be joined in marriage are counseled before the ceremony. Marriages shall normally be conducted for members of the congregation or those closely involved in the life of the congregation either by family ties or by instruction classes to prepare them for membership in the congregation. In matters of form and content within the marriage ceremony the Pastor shall be the final authority according to the guidelines prepared by Zion Congregation.
- He shall be an ex-officio non-voting member of all Boards and Committees of the congregation.
- Above all the Pastor shall live a life that is an example of obedience to God as a forgiven sinner redeemed by Christ, for the people of God and our community.
- OFFICERS AND BOARDS OF THE CONGREGATION
The officers of Zion Congregation shall be:
- A President
- A Vice-President
- A Secretary
- A Treasurer – Financial Secretary
- Members of a Board of Elders & Social Ministry consisting of a minimum of three members.
- Members of a Board of Trustees consisting of a minimum of three members.
- A Sunday School Superintendent.
- Members of a Board of Finance consisting of a minimum of four members.
- Members of a Board of Stewardship and Evangelism would consist of a minimum of three members.
- An Historian or Archivist
- Other officers or committees may be appointed so that all business and administration of the congregation shall be done in good order and with decency. Officers or committees appointed shall serve at the pleasure of the Church Council or Voters’ Assembly and shall hold office for periods of time consistent with the performance of their duties and accomplishment of the objectives for which they may be appointed.
- TERMS AND ELECTION OF OFFICERS AND BOARDS
- The President, Vice President, Secretary, and the Treasurer-Financial Secretary shall be elected for a term of two years. The President and Secretary shall be elected in the same year while the Vice-President and Treasurer-Financial Secretary shall be elected in the following year to provide continuity on the Church Council. All other elected positions shall be elected to three-year terms of service. Election of Board members shall be staggered to provide continuity of administration.
- In consideration of the need for dedicated and exemplary individuals to fill the office of Elder, the following shall apply to the position of Elder:
- Elders shall be nominated from the active male members of the Voters’ assembly by the existing Board of Elders in consultation with the Pastor.
- Elders shall be elected for terms of three years and may be re-nominated as long as their performance of duties merits continued service and they shall be willing to serve the needs of God’s people. They are to establish programs that will provide for the spiritual nourishment of the congregation.
- The Chairman of the Board of Elders shall rotate by election each year from the members of the Board and shall be a permanent member of the Church Council.
- The Pastor, called or contracted workers and church officers may be removed from office for the following reasons:
- Persistent adherence to false doctrine.
- Living a scandalous life.
- Willful neglect of duty or incompetence to carry out the duties of their office.
- REMOVAL OF A PASTOR
- In the consideration of the removal of a Pastor, the congregation shall ask the District President and the Circuit Visitor to take part in the investigation. A two-thirds (2/3) majority ballot vote of the Voters attending is required for removal.
- In case of Pastoral vacancy, the congregation shall notify the Circuit Visitor and the District President, so that they may assist in temporarily filling the vacancy and give their good counsel concerning calling a pastor.
- CONGREGATIONAL MEETINGS
The Voters’ Assembly is the legislative body responsible for administration of church business. All confirmed members of the congregation who are eighteen years of age or older may become members of the Voters’ Assembly. After having signed the constitution membership is maintained by participation in the business of the Assembly. Provisions in the Bylaws of this constitution allow for removal of inactive members. The annual meeting of the Voters’ Assembly normally shall be held in the NOVEMBER meeting of the voters. At the Annual meeting the primary business shall be the election of congregational officers and adoption of a budget for the upcoming year. The other regular meeting normally shall be held in JUNE.
The Voters’ Assembly shall be the final authority regarding the business of this congregation. No one shall bring before this body any complaint or charge against any other member, officer, employee, or Pastor unless he has first dealt with that individual in a Christian manner according to the Gospel of Matthew 18:15-20.
- The Church Council: The President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer-Financial Secretary, the Chairperson of each permanently established Board and the Pastor shall form the Church Council that is tasked with and given authority to conduct administration of the business of this congregation. Besides the permanently voting membership of the Church Council, a representative of all auxiliary groups shall be asked to attend as advisory members representing their respective organizations. Advisory members shall not be given a vote on the Church Council. The Church Council shall regularly meet each month, or as often as deemed necessary by the members to conduct the business of the congregation. The Church Council shall have authority to expend funds in keeping with the current budget established by the Voters’’ Assembly. In doing this the Council may adjust budget amounts to meet financial needs in keeping with good stewardship practices. The Council may not exceed the budget, except for emergency needs to protect property belonging to the congregation or the welfare of employed workers, without the approval of the Voters’ Assembly.
- Special meetings of the Church Council and/or the Voters’ Assembly may be called at the request of the Church Council, or by the Pastor or President with the consent of the Board of Elders. Notice of special meetings shall be announced in two successive public gatherings (services) of the congregation, or by one such announcement and a written notice.
- Those members present at any meeting properly announced and convened shall constitute a quorum. In all matters not already decided by the Word of God, decisions shall be made by majority rule, unless otherwise specified by this constitution. The purchase and sale of congregation property shall require a two-thirds majority of the members present on two successive duly called and convened regular or special meetings of the Voters’ Assembly.
- CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
Members of Zion Congregation are responsible for continued spiritual growth in their households. To provide ample opportunity to nurture such growth members of the congregation are expected to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the congregation. This will include study and mutual encouragement through Sunday School, Bible Classes, seminars, and other such programs as shall be provided by the Board of Elders, Church Council, and Pastor. Recognizing the admonition to train up our youth in the way that they should go, we also encourage each family to consider the benefits of Lutheran School programs that are available in the area, or which may be provided by Zion Congregation. It shall be understood that all the programs of this congregation are formed to benefit the spiritual growth of the entire membership and active involvement is a sign of healthy spiritual attitude. Attendance at worship services and Sunday School shall be required for all students preparing for confirmation.
- DOCTRINAL LITERATURE
Only such hymns, prayers and liturgies shall be used in the public services of the congregation and in all ministerial acts as conform to the confessional standard of Article 2. In all classes of instruction only such materials shall be used as conform to this standard.
- DIVISION OR DISSOLVING OF THE CONGREGATION
All church property shall be looked upon as inseparable. If at any time a separation shall occur in this congregation, because of doctrine or for any other cause, all property of the congregation shall be divided as follows: The property of the congregation and all the benefits, assets and associated responsibilities of the congregation shall remain with those members who shall adhere to the confessions of this congregation. This congregation shall remain faithful to The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod as long as The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) remains faithful to the Word of God and to the Confession enumerated under Article 2 of this constitution. In the event the congregation should totally disband, the property and all rights connected therewith shall be transferred to that district of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod of which the congregation has been a member at the time of disbanding, upon settlement of all just claims.
- REPEALS AND AMENDMENTS
This constitution and its bylaws may be amended in the following manner.
- Amendments to the provisions of this constitution not identified in the following paragraph shall be submitted in writing at a meeting of the voter’s assembly and announced to the congregation by public posting and/or mail to all communicant members prior to the meeting at which the proposed amendment will be acted upon. A two-thirds affirmative vote of the voter’s present shall be required for adoption.
- Amendments to Articles 2, 9a, and 15 shall not destroy their essential meaning. Amendments shall be submitted in writing at a meeting of the voter’s assembly and made public to the congregation by public posting and/or by mail to all communicant members. Notice of the discussion of such amendments shall be given prior to two voters assemblies when the proposed action will be discussed. Notice that action will be taken on proposed amendments shall be provided to all voting members prior to the meeting when a vote will be taken. The date of approval shall be referenced in any amendment adopted.
- The revised constitution and bylaws shall, as a condition of continued membership in The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, be submitted to the president of the district for review by the district’s constitution committee and favorable action by the district’s board of directors before being implemented by the congregation.
- A STATEMENT OF BELIEF REGARDING MARRIAGE
The marriage policy of Zion Lutheran Congregation, Clyman, WI, a member congregation of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, is and always has been consistent with the Synod’s beliefs on marriage. We believe that marriage is a sacred union of one man and one woman (Gen. 2:24-25), and that God gave marriage as a picture of the relationship between Christ and His bride the Church (Eph. 5:32). The official position of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, as set forth in 1998 Res. 3-21 (“To Affirm the Sanctity of Marriage and to Reject Same-Sex Unions”), is that homosexual unions come under categorical prohibition in the Old and New Testaments (Lev. 18:22, 24; 20:13; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; 1 Tim. 1:9-10) as contrary to the Creator’s design (Rom. 1:26-27). These positions and beliefs can be found on the LCMS website, along with other statements, papers, and reports on the subject of homosexuality and same-sex civil unions and “marriage.” Our pastors will not officiate over any marriages inconsistent with these beliefs, and our church property may not be used for any marriage ceremony, reception or other activity that would be inconsistent with our beliefs and this policy.
- A STATEMENT OF BELIEF REGARDING GENDER
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. (Genesis 1:26-27). Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.
We believe that the term marriage has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture (Genesis 2:18-25). We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur between a man and a woman who are married to each other (1 Corinthians 6:18; 7:2-5; Hebrews 13:4). We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in, outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including, but not limited to adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God (Matthew 15:18-20; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
We believe that in order to preserve the function, and integrity of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Congregation, Clyman, WI, as the local body of Christ and to provide a biblical role model and witness to the members of Zion and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by Zion Evangelical Lutheran Congregation in any capacity, who serve as volunteers, or any persons who wish to use the facilities of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Congregation, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality (Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:22)
We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ (Acts 3:19-21; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity (Mark 12:28; Luke 6:31). Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Congregation, Clyman, WI.
BYLAWS FOR ZION EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CONGREGATION
ELECTION OF OFFICERS AND BOARDS
- A Nominating Committee shall be appointed by the congregation President at the June semi-annual voters meeting. The Nominating Committee shall prepare a slate of nominations. The slate will be presented at the October meeting of the Church Council. The Church Secretary shall ensure that the Nominating Committee is provided with a current membership list of the Voting Members of Zion Congregation. It shall be the responsibility of the Committee to ensure that candidates are eligible to serve in the position for which they are nominated and will accept the position if elected. At the November Voters’ Assembly, the Annual Election shall be conducted. Additional nominations may be made from the floor but nominations from the floor must include a statement of willingness to serve made by the nominee, in person when possible, or by means of a written statement presented to the President and the Voters’ Assembly in unusual circumstances. All nominations must be approved by the Voters present before being placed on the ballot. Only such persons who have held voting membership in the congregation for at least one year shall be eligible for an elective office in the congregation. The Church Council shall insure that the slate of candidates has been properly prepared and ready for presentation to the Voting Assembly.
- The Annual meeting of Zion Congregation shall be conducted in November and shall include on the agenda Election of officers and approval of the Budget for the following year. Election shall be by secret ballot prepared by the nominating committee and as may have been modified by nominations from the floor. A simple majority vote of the eligible voters present shall constitute a valid election for each office.
- All officers of the congregation shall be installed in their respective offices as a part of the first regular Sunday worship service in the New Year and they shall assume their duties immediately thereafter.
- In the event of a vacancy in any office, the Church Council shall appoint a successor to fill out the remainder of the unexpired term. This appointment shall be ratified by the Voters’ Assembly at the next meeting of that body.
- After the Annual Election the membership of all Boards and Committees shall organize in compliance with the guidance of the Constitution and Bylaws of Zion Congregation and the Laws of the State of Wisconsin, as applicable, by selecting a representative that shall represent that Board on the Church Council. In case the Board or Committee representative cannot attend a scheduled meeting of the Church Council the Secretary, or other designated representative shall attend to represent the Board and or Committee in the Council.
- DUTIES OF OFFICERS AND BOARDS
- THE PRESIDENT presides at all meetings of the Voters’ Assembly and the Church Council. He shall function as the administrative officer of the Congregation to coordinate the conduct of business in keeping with good order and decency such as befits a Christian congregation. He shall have authority to appoint committees established at the request of the Church Council or Voters’ and shall be an ex-officio voting member of all Board and Committees.
- THE VICE PRESIDENT shall assume the responsibilities and duties of the President should the President be absent or incapacitated for any reason. The Vice President is also an ex-officio voting member of all Boards and Committees to help these groups function properly and coordinate their efforts.
- THE SECRETARY shall be responsible for keeping correct minutes of the proceedings of the Voters’ Assembly and of the Church Council in an appropriate book to be provided for that purpose. At the termination of his/her term of office, the Secretary shall deliver to his/her successor all records, documents, and materials relevant to the conduct of the business of Zion Congregation that may be in his/her possession. The Secretary shall keep an attendance record of the Voters’ Assembly.
- THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY/TREASURER shall make disbursements of funds to pay all legal obligations or bills properly received. The Church Council reserves the right to oversee and monitor all expenditures. The Financial Secretary/Treasurer shall oversee the income and disbursement of all congregational funds.
As Treasurer he/she shall keep an accurate account of all moneys received and spent. Written reports of the financial status shall be presented to each regular meeting of the Church Council and Voters’ Assembly and as otherwise requested by the congregation. All records in the custody of the Treasurer shall be turned over to his/her successor at the conclusion of time of service to the congregation. As Financial Secretary he/she shall receive all moneys for the congregation; keep accurate records of individual contributions and of the total of each type of contribution. He/she shall see to the deposit of all moneys and manage the deposit slips. Together with the Board of Finance, the Financial Secretary shall provide for the proper counting and recording of contributions and shall issue annual statements to all communicant members informing them of the amount of their contributions. Communicant members may request statements throughout the year.
- The Financial Secretary shall be the chairman of the Board of Finance and shall oversee the duties of the board to insure proper functions.
- The duties of the Board of Finance shall include:
- Together with the Financial Secretary count all offerings and assist him/her in issuing an accurate annual statement to all communicant members.
- All moneys shall be counted on the church property and secured in a proper storage container until deposited in the bank. The board may enlist the assistance of other members of the congregation to help count the moneys offered to the work of the Lord but at least one member of the Board of Finance must be present for the counting.
- It shall be the responsibility of the Board to distribute contribution numbers to the congregation members in December to provide the opportunity to contribute regularly toward the work of the church.
- CONGREGATION FINANCIAL REVIEW COMMITTEE: In November the President shall appoint a Committee to be tasked with financial reviewing all accounts of the congregation and auxiliary organizations. The Committee shall be authorized to make recommendations regarding record keeping, to improve the accuracy and clarity of all financial records. The Committee shall report their findings in writing to the January meeting of the Church Council.
- THE BOARD OF ELDERS AND SOCIAL MINISTRY shall be the primary assistants to the Pastor and are tasked with the supervision of all matters relative to the spiritual well-being of the membership of Zion Congregation. The Elders shall:
- Promote the welfare of the membership through worship and fellowship activities.
- Assist the Pastor in preserving good order, decency, and a peaceful relationship among the membership.
- Admonish the erring and visit the delinquent to advise them of the danger to their eternal souls. Members who have been absent from the worship service and/or the Sacrament of the Altar shall be dealt with in accordance with guidelines to be established by the congregation that shall stress the danger of neglecting the spiritual strengthening of the faithful through Word and Sacrament ministry.
- The organist, ushering staff and acolytes shall be under the direct supervision of the Elders in order that everything done in God’s House shall be carried out in good order and decency.
- They shall give attention to the welfare of all called or contracted workers who serve the congregation, it shall be their duty to review the salaries paid to all workers, as well as the performance of assigned duties to ensure that good stewardship is being applied to the laborers in the Lord’s work.
- In the event of a pastoral vacancy, or the illness of the Pastor, the Board of Elders shall ensure that worship services are conducted on a regular basis and according to the set form of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS).
- The duties of Social Ministry shall fall under the supervision of the Board of Elders. The Elders, in partnership with the Pastor, evaluate the needs of the membership. They shall monitor all areas of faith life education, worship, stewardship, and outreach to the community surrounding our congregation to meet the needs of those whom we serve.
- Working with the Board of Stewardship the Elder shall develop, implement, and supervise an ongoing program of evangelism outreach to the community of Clyman and surrounding Dodge County.
- It shall be the responsibility of the Board of Elders and the Pastor, to supervise the overall Education Program of Zion Congregation, to appoint a Sunday School Superintendent and Youth Group Counselor who shall report to the Board of Elders for matters regarding the function of their portion of the Education Program. The Sunday School Superintendent shall be a non-voting member of the Church Council for administrative purposes. The Board of Elders shall be assisted by the Board of Stewardship in the establishment and maintenance of an Education Program designed to adequately meet the needs of the entire congregational membership.
- THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES shall administer the secular affairs of the congregation as legal representatives under the laws of the State of Wisconsin. They shall maintain an inventory of and control over all the corporate property and shall keep such property in a good state of repair. The Trustees shall be empowered to sign all official documents and to represent Zion Congregation in all legal matters consistent with the laws of this state and of the government of the United States of America. The Trustees shall be empowered to spend, or otherwise obligate, up to $500.00 in congregation funds to carry out routine repairs of church property. The Trustees shall supervise the duties of the Custodians of church property and shall insure that a job description is provided to everyone hired to fill such positions. The Trustees shall regularly inspect all the properties of the congregation and shall make reports to the Church Council and Voters’ Assembly at the meetings of those bodies. They shall make recommendations regarding routine maintenance and necessary improvements of the facilities to provide a safe and efficient environment for our congregation functions. The Trustees shall be responsible for providing adequate safeguards to protect all church property from loss, theft, and damage. They shall provide adequate depositories for the safe keeping of all records, archives and materials which are the property of the Congregation. All Boards and Committees shall submit a list of requirements to the Board of Trustees relative to storage, inventory, and control of church property within their areas of responsibility.
- THE BOARD OF STEWARDSHIP AND EVANGELISM would consist of at least three members who actively encourage the effective management of time, treasure, and talents by all the members of Zion Congregation to provide for maximum utilization of these blessings of God while also providing an effective witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ before the community. The Board shall plan, coordinate, and supervise all programs relative to good stewardship and the strengthening of fellowship within the family of believers, in conjunction with the Board of Elders they would assist all the membership of Zion Congregation to witness their faith as evangelists of the Gospel through thought, word and deed. Working with the Board of Elders the Board of Stewardship would develop a program designed to lead members of Zion Congregation in outreach to the community of Clyman and the area of Dodge County which surrounds us, to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ into as many homes and lives as possible. Establishment of a committee to coordinate the evangelism efforts, identification of individuals who will serve on such a committee, providing training, encouragement and other support shall be the task of the Boards of Elders and Stewardship.
- THE HISTORIAN/ARCHIVIST shall endeavor to preserve for future generations a sense of the faith life, events, and traditions of our times through the preservation of artifacts, documents, photographic, video and audio recordings of the events which highlight our life as a people. The individual filling this office shall be responsible for the collection, cataloging, and preservation of material likely to be of historical significance. To assist in this effort the Board of Trustees shall provide adequate storage facilities, including, fire resistant containers as needed to protect the material thus set aside for preservation. The Historian/Archivist shall coordinate his/her efforts with counterparts in the District and Synod to enhance the accomplishment of the tasks involved.
- AUXILIARY ORGANIZATIONS: The Voters’ Assembly shall approve the formation of such organizations among the membership as will be in keeping with the established practices of the Synod and are proven to meet the expressed needs of a segment of the membership. We rejoice in the service and ministry provided by the organizations already in existence at the time of the approval of this constitution. They are encouraged to continue to labor for the Lord in their special areas of concern and witness.
Zion Lutheran Congregation, Clyman, WI
- Funerals within Zion’s church sanctuary are reserved for the families of baptized and/or communicant members of the congregation who have died. Funerals may also be held for those who have relocated due to retirement or work transfers on the condition that the person retains membership in an LC-MS congregation.
- Funerals may also be conducted within Zion’s sanctuary for families of persons who were under the direct pastoral care of Zion’s pastor with the intention of communicant membership which was pre-empted by the person’s death.
- Zion’s called pastor may conduct funerals at the funeral home or another location for non-members also if:
- Zion’s pastor gives end-of-life pastoral care to the deceased.
- Zion’s pastor is giving pastoral care to the family of the deceased at the time of death.
In such cases, it is the wishes of Zion congregation that the funeral take place at the funeral home or any location other than Zion sanctuary. The members also encourage the pastor to give deference to the deceased’s congregation of membership if there is one.
- In the event of a suicide, discretionary attention needs to be given to the circumstances surrounding the suicide before deciding the location of the funeral. Funerals within Zion’s sanctuary may be granted in the event of an accidental suicide or a suicide under known, previously diagnosed, mental. illness.
Otherwise, it is the will of Zion congregation that funerals for all other situations of suicide be conducted at the funeral home or another location by Zion’s pastor unless the family desires someone else.
- Neither the funeral home staff, nor the florist, plays any part in the directing of the funeral service,
- Since the funeral is a public worship service, any member of the Board of Elders reserves the right to attend the service.
- The called and installed pastor of Zion at the time of a funeral is to have a role in the funeral service. Only another LCMS pastor may be involved; in the funeral and must share roles with the current pastor of Zion in the service, unless it is agreed beforehand that the other pastor can do the service alone.
- We prefer you use one of our church organists or one who has experience leading worship at another church.
- Music for a funeral need to be Christ-centered and appropriate. While families often wish to have contemporary or popular songs at funerals, these often reflect secular ideas about life and death that are not in harmony with the Scriptures. Please consult the pastor for ideas concerning appropriate music. All music used in the service must be approved by the pastor at least 36 hours in advance of the service. All hymns to be used must be published in one of our Synod’s three recent hymnals (The Lutheran Hymnal, Lutheran Worship, Lutheran Service Book).
- The selection of Scriptural verses for the ceremony should be mutually agreed upon by the family of the deceased and the pastor. Non-Scriptural themes for the funeral are expressly prohibited.
- The members of Zion recommend that any eulogies or personal reflections (or videos) on the life of the deceased be saved for the reception after the service. Because the focus of the funeral service is on Christ’s death and resurrection for the deceased’s salvation, eulogies are considered inappropriate as they often focus far more on the deceased than they do on Christ.
- The taking of pictures in the service, in particular flash pictures, is strictly forbidden.
- The chancel area may not be redecorated or rearranged All permanent fixtures of the chancel (i.e., candles and the like). remain in their places. Flowers should not be placed on the altar, but on stands around the chancel and casket.
- Any candles used besides our own must be dripless and protected.
- Animals will be allowed in the church according to current Federal and State ADA guidelines.
- Refreshments served before the service need to be appropriate for a church building. No alcohol may be served in the church building or on the church property.
- Fees for the use of the facilities: $100 for the janitor to clean up the church following the funeral.
- Honoraria for the pastor(s), organist, vocalist, etc. are not to be included in the above expenses. The Board of Elders suggests that the Pastor be paid a minimum of $150.00 and the organist a minimum of $125.00.
Zion Lutheran Church, Clyman, WI
- Church weddings are reserved for couples where either the bride, or groom, or both, are members of Zion Lutheran Congregation or sister congregations of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. In the case of released members, marriages will be conducted on the condition that at least one person in the couple, and ideally both, undergo instruction toward active membership at Zion or at another LCMS congregation.
- No weddings will be scheduled during Holy Week—the week prior to Easter—as this is one of the busiest times of the year.
- Contact the pastor and organist at least six months in advance or as quickly as possible, concerning the rehearsal and wedding date and time. All couples who are married by the pastor will be expected to attend his pre-marital counseling sessions.
- Neither the florist, nor a wedding consultant, if one is engaged, plays any part in the directing of the rehearsal or the wedding.
- Since the marriage is a public worship service, any member of the Board of Elders reserves the right to attend the rehearsal and/or wedding service.
- The called and installed pastor of Zion at the time of the wedding is to have a role in the wedding service. Only another LCMS pastor may be involved in the wedding and must share roles with the current pastor of Zion in the service.
- The Congregation prefers that one of our church organists is used, or one who has experience leading worship at another church.
- Music needs to be Christ-centered and appropriate. While couples often wish to have contemporary or popular songs at their weddings, these often reflect secular ideas about love and marriage that are not in harmony with God’s Word or the theme of the service and can, in some cases, be sexually suggestive. Often, these songs are inappropriate and should be saved for the reception. Please consult the pastor for ideas concerning appropriate music. All music used in the service must be approved by the pastor at least three weeks in advance of the service.
- The taking of pictures during the wedding service, in particular flash pictures, is strictly forbidden. The bulletin should include the following sentence: “The bride and groom and congregation of Zion kindly request that flash photos not be taken during the service.” Please notify your family and friends that pictures are not to be taken during the service and that pictures may be taken after the service is completed.
- If the service is being videotaped, the videographer may make the video from the balcony or in a place on the floor level mutually agreed upon by the couple, the videographer, and the pastor. The videographer may not move around excessively during the service as this is a distraction from the center of the service, the presence of the Risen Christ to bless this marriage.
- The chancel area may not be redecorated or rearranged. All permanent fixtures of the chancel (i.e., candles and the like) remain in their places. Flowers should not be placed on the altar, but on stands around the chancel. A separate table is also recommended for the unity candle if one is used.
- All arrangements for decorating must be made with the church in the day or two prior to the wedding in case there are any funerals or other special services that day. Decorations are not to be attached with tacks, nails, etc. Church decorating cannot be done during the hour preceding the wedding.
- Any candles used besides our own must be dripless and protected.
- Dress must be modest and appropriate for the dignity and solemnity of a worship service.
- Costumes representing any themes are not appropriate. The theme of the service is always God’s joining of the couple together in His gift of marriage. The church requests that you save any themes for the reception.
- Animals will be allowed in the church according to current Federal and State ADA guidelines.
- Refreshments served before the service need to be appropriate for a church building. No alcohol may be served in the church building or on the church
- The wedding rite may not be altered. The writing of individual vows is also strongly discouraged as, in most cases, these do not reflect the full theology of the vows included in the rite itself. All new wordings of the vows must be approved by the pastor and his decision respected if not allowed.
- The selection of Scriptural verses for the ceremony should be mutually agreed upon by the bridal couple and the pastor.
- The nuptial kiss should be appropriate for a service conducted in God’s presence. It may also be omitted. If it is exchanged, it shall be following the service, either before recessing to the narthex or in the narthex after the recessional.
- Fees for the use of the facilities:
- $100 for the janitor to clean up the church following the wedding.
- Any costs of wedding bulletins printed by the church.
- All fees for wedding bulletins and church janitor are to be paid on the night of the rehearsal. The reservations for the use of the church facilities shall be made in advance through the Church Secretary or Pastor.
- Honoraria for the pastor(s), organist, vocalist, etc. are not to be included in the above expenses. The Board of Elders suggests that the Pastor be paid a minimum of $150.00 and the organist a minimum of $125.00.
The use of rice, birdseed, or any other substitute shall not be permitted in the church building.