Constitution & Bylaws
CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS OF PILGRIM CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF THE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST REDDING, CALIFORNIA
Adopted, October 12, 1997
We affirm that the Church is the people of God, laity and clergy alike, both sharing a mutual responsibility for the care, health and growth of the Church. We believe that the local church is an outcrop in a particular place of the Church Universal. We pray that the Holy Spirit will guide us in our endeavors to fulfill our mutual responsibilities, and we declare that our faith rests “not…in the wisdom of man but in the power of God.”
(I Corinthians 2:5)
PILGRIM CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
OF THE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
ARTICLE I – NAME
The name of this corporation is Pilgrim Congregational Church of the United Church of Christ, Redding, California, hereinafter referred to as the/this church.
ARTICLE II – POLITY, FAITH AND COVENANT
SECTION 1, POLITY
This church shall be part of the United Church of Christ and shall sustain that relationship to the United Church of Christ described in those portions of the Constitution and Bylaws of the United Church of Christ adopted July 4, 1961, and as subsequently amended, relating to local churches.
The government of this church is vested in its members, who exercise the right of control in all its affairs, subject in legal matters to the Articles of Incorporation granted by the State of California.
While this church is amenable to no ecclesiastical judicatory, it accepts the obligation of mutual counsel, comity and cooperation involved in the free fellowship of the United Church of Christ.
SECTION 2, FAITH
The purpose of this church shall be to worship God; to preach the gospel of Jesus of Nazareth; to celebrate the sacraments; to preserve, promote and extend the heritage of the Christian church and the Church Universal; to render loving service toward humankind; and to strive actively for righteousness, justice and peace in our daily lives; and to affirm the validity of corporate worship with people of other creeds and covenants.
SECTION 3, COVENANT
We subscribe to the Constitution and Bylaws of the United Church of Christ and the following covenant unites us in the fellowship of this local church:
We covenant one with another to seek and respond to the word and the will of God. We purpose to walk together in the ways of the Lord, made known to us. We hold it to be the mission of the Church to witness to the Gospel in the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth in all the world, while worshiping God and striving for truth, justice and peace. As did our fathers and mothers, we depend on the Holy Spirit to lead and empower us. We pray for the kingdom of God among us, and as it is still to come, and we look with faith toward the triumph of righteousness and eternal life.
ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP
This church welcomes into membership all persons who have been received by affirmation of the congregation, as provided for in the Policy and Procedure Manual, and who:
- Intentionally pursue the Christian life through the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth,
- Participate responsibly in the life and work of this church,
- Attend with regularity the worship services of this church,
- Encourage others to join in the mission of the church, and
- Contribute to its support in proportion to their ability.
Members who, for a period of two years, have neither communicated with the church nor contributed to its support may be removed from membership by majority vote of the congregation.
ARTICLE IV – GOVERNING BODY
The governing body of the church is its members, hereinafter called the congregation. A meeting of the congregation shall occur at least once a year (see Article V, Meetings of the Congregation). Between meetings of the congregation, authority is delegated to the Church Council in all matters except those listed in Article IV, Sections 2-A, 2-B, and 2-C.
The congregation reserves the following powers:
- Election of a pastoral search committee.
- Election of church officers and ministry area co-coordinators.
- Final action on any major financial program including the adoption of an annual budget.
The congregation also reserves the following powers:
- Authorization to purchase, sell, convey, mortgage, encumber, lease real property and accept unusual gifts.
- Election or dismissal of a called member of the ministerial staff.
- Merger or affiliation with another church or denomination.
- Adoption and amendment of the bylaws.
Congregation reserves the power to dissolve the church in accordance Article XIII.
ARTICLE V – MEETINGS OF THE CONGREGATION
An annual meeting of the congregation shall be held during the winter (January thru March) on a date selected by the Church Council. The purpose of the Annual Meeting is to review the work of the church, approve a budget for the new year, fill all vacant elected positions, and transact such other business as may come before the congregation.
Other meetings of the congregation may be called by the moderator, the Church Council, any ministry area co-coordinators, the Senior Minister, or by the written request of twenty members of the congregation.
Prior to any meeting of the congregation, the church shall send a notice to each member stating matters to be addressed at the meeting. Notices shall be sent by first-class mail, postmarked at least ten days prior to the meeting.
A quorum is required to conduct business. Ten percent of the membership, or 50 members, whichever is the lesser, shall constitute a quorum, except in special situations enumerated in Article IV, Section 2-B, for which twenty percent or 100 members, whichever is the lesser, shall constitute a quorum, and in Article IV, Section 2-C, for which thirty percent or 150 members, whichever is the lesser, shall constitute a quorum.
All propositions shall be decided and all elected positions filled by a majority vote of those present and voting, except those powers reserved to the congregation in Article IV, Sections 2-B and 2-C, which require a two-thirds vote.
The moderator shall preside at all meetings. In the moderator's absence, the line of succession shall be the vice-moderator or another member of the Church Council to be selected by the Council.
The clerk shall serve as recorder at all meetings. In the clerk's absence a secretary pro-tem shall be appointed by the moderator.
The latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order shall be the parliamentary guide at all meetings unless otherwise specified at the beginning of the meeting.
ARTICLE VI – CHURCH COUNCIL
The CHURCH COUNCIL (“Council”), with a quorum present, shall act for the church except in those matters which are reserved to meetings of the congregation as provided in Article IV, Sections 2-A, 2-B, and 2-C. A simple majority of voting Council members including the Senior Minister shall constitute a quorum. The Council shall meet monthly, and at other times as determined by the moderator or the Emergency Council.
The Council shall be chaired by the moderator and composed of the voting members listed below. Each voting member shall have only one vote for each position.
- Financial Secretary
- One of each Ministry Area Co-Coordinators
- Senior Minister who shall exercise the vote only for the purpose of breaking ties and in matters involving personnel.
- Associate Minister(s) shall be ex-officio with voice but not vote.
The Council's duties shall include, but not be limited to, serving as a forum for discussion of all matters pertaining to the well-being of the congregation. The Council shall establish and maintain a Policy and Procedure Manual to supplement these Bylaws. The Council shall oversee the work of the ministry areas. Upon recommendation of the Connecting Co-Coordinators, Council shall fill vacancies as they occur at other times during the year. The Council shall annually appoint the Endowment Fund Committee (minimum of 3) prior to the Annual Meeting. It shall appoint delegates to represent the church in denominational and ecumenical matters. The Council may delegate to individuals and groups such functions as are necessary to accomplish the church's mission.
To comply with the Revenue and Taxation Code of the State of California, Section 214 thereof, and tax exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States of America, the Council shall be the Board of Directors of Pilgrim Congregational Church of the United Church of Christ of Redding, California. Its moderator shall be president of the corporation, its vice-moderator shall be vice president of the corporation, and its clerk and treasurer, respectively, shall be secretary and treasurer of the corporation.
An EMERGENCY COUNCIL shall serve as a crisis response team in emergency situations. In such situations, the Emergency Council has all the authority of the Council, but shall be expected to convene the Council as soon as practicable to review its actions. The Emergency Council shall consist of elected officers and the senior minister.
The Emergency Council is authorized to obtain such advice and assistance as it may require.
ARTICLE VII – OFFICERS AND ELECTED COUNCL MEMBERS
All officers and elected Council members shall be members of the church.
- The officers of this church are:
- Other Elected Council Members
- 3 Members at Large and
- One co-coordinator from each ministry team
- Others named by action of the congregation according to the provisions of Article IV, Section 2-A.
- TermsThe moderator, vice-moderator, clerk, and member(s)-at-large will serve one two-year term and may serve again after a one year absence. The financial secretary and treasurer may serve two consecutive two-year terms and may serve again after a one year absence. Additionally, all officers may serve up to one year of the uncompleted term of a predecessor. All officers may delegate to individuals and groups such functions as are necessary.
The MODERATOR shall:
- Preside at all meetings of the congregation and the Council,
- Be an ex-officio member of all ministry areas. He/she shall have no vote except when serving as a member of Pastoral Relations Committee,
- Work closely with the ministerial staff, and
- Represent the interests of the congregation in civic, denominational and ecumenical matters when or if the Senior Minister is unable to do so.
The VICE-MODERATOR shall:
- Serve as parliamentarian at Council and congregational meetings,
- Carry out the moderator’s duties in the absence of the moderator and be an understudy to the moderator, and
- Be responsible for the maintenance of the church's Policy and Procedure Manual and serve as chairperson of any task force working on a Constitutional Amendment or revisions to the Policy and Procedure Manual.
The CLERK shall:
- Keep a faithful record of the proceedings of the church,
- Oversee and report annually on the register of members, with dates and modes of their reception and removal,
- Maintain a record of all baptisms, marriages and deaths, and
- Issue letters of transfer and give legal notice of all meetings when such notices are necessary.
- Submit a list of inactive members to the congregation at the Annual Meeting, with recommendations to revise the church membership, and
- Act on requests by former members for reinstatement
The FINANCIAL SECRETARY shall:
- Be responsible for the count of all collections to the church and their immediate deposit in such depository as the trustees shall order,
- Provide the Treasurer with a weekly breakdown of receipts,
- Make a monthly report to Giving Co-Coordinators and the Council of these receipts,
- Keep and report accurate stewardship records as directed by the Giving Co-Coordinators.
The TREASURER shall :
- Keep records of all Fund Accounts and balances,
- Pay the bills of the church and remit benevolence monies according to the Annual Budget and as directed by the relevant Co-Coordinator and/or the Congregation, and
- Make a monthly report to the Giving Co-Coordinators and the Council of all disbursements.
The MEMBER(S)-AT-LARGE shall:
- Serve as a communication link directly between the congregation and the Council
SENIOR MINISTER (duties described in Article VIII).
ASSOCIATE MINISTER (duties described in Article VIII).
OTHER OFFICERS may be elected as needed. The length of term will be set at the time the office is created.
ARTICLE VIII – MINISTERS
The SENIOR MINISTER shall serve as spiritual leader and executive officer.
As spiritual leader, the Senior Minister shall:
- Be responsible for all services of worship and celebration within the church, in consultation with the Worship Co-Coordinators, and
- Serve as pastor, counselor, and teacher.
As executive officer, the Senior Minister shall:
- Supervise all paid staff with authority to employ and terminate employment in accordance with policies established under Article IX, Section 1,
- Oversee the daily operations of the church,
- Facilitate church programs,
- Serve as official spokesperson for the church and represent the congregation in civic, denominational and ecumenical matters except when others are so authorized, and
- Perform other duties consistent with these bylaws.
The church may call one or more ASSOCIATE MINISTERS. Associate ministers shall work collegially with the Senior Minister, assisting the Senior Minister in the performance of that office. An Associate Minister may exercise all the functions of the Senior Minister in the Senior Minister's absence until the Council provides otherwise.
When a called ministerial vacancy occurs, the congregation shall elect a Pastoral Search Committee, from nominations made by the Council, which, in cooperation with the Northern California Nevada Conference, shall search for and recommend one candidate worthy of the congregation's consideration. A minister may be called by a two-thirds vote of members present at a duly-called meeting of the congregation. The term of the minister shall be indefinite, but the agreement with the congregation may be terminated by either party sixty days after written notice has been given in accordance with Article IV, Section 2-B.
The Council may suspend the authority of a minister who is unable to perform the duties of the position until action can be taken by the congregation.
The clergy called by this congregation may continue their professional practice in this church only as long as they maintain Ministerial Standing within the Northern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ (NCNC-UCC).
ARTICLE IX – MINISTRY AREAS
Ministry Areas shall be established by the congregation to oversee the work and mission of the church. Each ministry area will have two co-coordinators who will be elected by the congregation at the Annual Meeting, with terms to begin on Installation Sunday. Each ministry area co-coordinator will serve a term of two years, staggered and may be reelected to additional terms. CoCo's and Officers comprise the Council
Ministry area co-coordinators may delegate to individuals and groups such functions as are necessary.
SECTION 1. PERSONNEL AND PASTORAL RELATIONS COMMITTEES
There are four standing Committees of the Council as follows:
The committee will consist of seven (7) members? including the Senior Minister.
- Formulate and recommend policies to the Council pertaining to all church staff except called ministers.
- Annually review the Senior Minister's written evaluation of the work of all church staff members.
- Create and maintain a written personnel policy including all matters regarding employment of church staff except called ministers.
- Make recommendations regarding non-clergy staff salaries and benefits to the Financial Co-Cos in time for preparation of the Annual Budget.
Pastoral Relations Committee
There will be a Pastoral Relations Committee for each called minister, each Committee consisting of five (5) members?, including the Moderator/Vice Moderator. The four remaining members of the committee will be volunteers from the search committee who called the minister confidentiality shall be maintained regarding all Pastoral Relations Committee matters and meetings.
Council Nominating Committee
There will be a Council Nominating Committee consisting of three (3) members including the Vice Moderator and two At Large Council Members. This Committee shall be responsible for preparing a slate of nominees for officers and ministry co-coordinators to be elected at the Annual Meeting. When vacancies occur, recommend candidates to fill these vacancies to Council.
Welcoming & Hospitality Committee
There will be a Welcoming & Hospitality Committee consisting of a minimum of six (6) members including the Pastor, two Council/CoCo members and members of the congregation. This Committee shall be responsible for welcoming Sunday visitors, communication with Senior Pastor about prospective members and maintaining a membership database.
SECTION 2. MINISTRY OF SERVING
This serving Co-coordinators shall:
- Oversee the caring functions of the church.
- Facilitate and encourage activities to enhance and enrich the lives of the church family.
SECTION 3 MINISTRY OF LEARNING
The learning co-coordinators shall:
- Facilitate the educational mission of the church and recommend policy to the Council,
- Develop educational programs for all ages addressing mission and stewardship themes, biblical, theological and ethical studies, and
- Recruit and train leadership, offer a full array of educational opportunities and evaluate the effectiveness of each.
SECTION 4. MINISTRY OF GIVING/ADMINISTRATION
The Giving/Administration co-coordinators shall:
- Manage the financial and business affairs of the church except for the Endowment Fund,
- Be custodians of its physical properties and recommend policy to the Council regarding use,
- Advise and consult with the Council and Co-Coordinators regarding the financial needs of the church,
- Carry out the budget as adopted and report unusual demands on said budget to the Council,
- Have the power to buy, accept, sell, lease, or transfer personal property as needed for the operation of the church,
- Establish accounts with banks or savings institutions as needed,
- Establish, review and oversee special funds as needed,
- Act as a review board for all unusual gifts to the church, and
- Manage Memorial Fund gifts dedicated to the personal property and/or capital improvement needs of the church.
- Facilitate an annual stewardship drive.
- Oversee the administrative functions of the church
- Also under the Giving/Administration ministry is the Historical Committee, volunteers who serve as event hosts, docents for tours of the Frank Lloyd Wright building and office substitutes.
SECTION 5. MINISTRY OF CONNECTING
The connecting co-coordinators shall:
- Connect the congregation with the wider community
- Select areas of concern for study and action by the congregation, and serve as an action arm of the church,
- Seek to keep the congregation informed about current social issues,
- Cooperate with the other churches of the community and with the Conference and national structures of the United Church of Christ in study and action on social issues, recommending policy to Council with regard to social concerns, but without committing the Congregation or its individual members to particular positions
- Oversee communication within and advertising and publicity outside for the church
- Maintain the church calendar for the Council
SECTION 6. MINISTRY OF WORSHIP
The worship co-coordinators shall:
- Assist in the preparation and leadership of worship services and in the sacraments of the church.
- Oversee the music ministry of the church.
ARTICLE X – FINANCE
SECTION 1. OFFERINGS
The church shall seek support by contribution of individuals, annually, and at other times as proposed by the congregation. Such monies shall be used for current expenses, benevolences and specific objects as approved by the congregation.
SECTION 2. APPORTIONMENT
The church will apportion its unrestricted donations to support the local church, and a tithe or more to the church's wider mission and other benevolent and worthy enterprises.
ARTICLE XI – ENDOWMENT FUND
The Endowment Committee:
- The fund managers shall consist of three (3) members who will maintain accurate records of the fund's principal and income.
- All principal amounts will be retained and only the income expended.
- No portion of the income generated by the Endowment Fund shall be used for the annual operating budget.
ARTICLE XII – ELECTIONS
The election of officers, council members and ministry area co-coordinators shall be held at the Annual Meeting.
ARTICLE XIII – DISSOLUTION
Upon dissolution of the church and satisfaction of all indebtedness, its assets property and interest which it shall then possess, including any device, bequest, gift or grant contained in any will or other instrument, in trust or otherwise, made before or after such dissolution, shall be transferred to the Northern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ, unless otherwise prohibited by the terms of the instrument of conveyance. In no event shall the assets be transferred to any entity or be used for any purpose which violates Section 50 c(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
These bylaws may be altered or amended in accordance with Article IV, Section 2-B hereof.
ARTICLE XV-EFFECTIVE DATE
The existing bylaws of the church shall be repealed in their entirety with the adoption of these bylaws. These bylaws shall take effect upon adoption by congregation.