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Church Structure

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Church Structure

Colchester Federated Church Bylaws

Revised May 6, 2001

ARTICLE I:  NAME.. 2

ARTICLE II:  PURPOSE, COVENANTS, SACRAMENTS, AND ORDINANCES.. 2

Section 1 – Purpose. 2

Section 2 – Church Covenants and Missions Statements. 3

Section 2a – First Congregational Church Covenant 3

Section 2b – Colchester Baptist Church Covenant 3

Section 2c – Colchester Federated Church Mission Statement (adopted 1984) 3

Section 2d – United Church of Christ Statement of Faith (Adapted by Robert V. Moss) 4

Section 3 – Sacraments, Ordinances, and Church Traditions. 4

Section 3a – The Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion. 5

Section 3b – Infant/Child Dedication. 5

Section 3c – Infant/Child Baptism.. 5

Section 3d – Believer’s Baptism.. 5

Section 3e – Mode of Baptism.. 5

Section 3f – Confirmation. 6

ARTICLE III:  MEMBERSHIP.. 6

Section I – Membership. 6

Section 2 – Admission of Membership. 6

Section 3 – Termination of Membership. 6

Section 4 – Duties of Membership. 6

Section 5 – Suffrage. 7

ARTICLE IV:  ADMINISTRATION.. 7

Section 1 – Ministers. 7

Section 1a – Senior Minster 7

Section 1b – Associate Minister 7

Section 1c – Minister of Christian Education. 7

Section 1d – Director of Religious Education or Youth Director 8

Section 1e – Ministerial Vacancies. 8

Section 2 – Diaconate. 8

Section 2a – Diaconate. 8

Section 2b – Deacon Emeritus. 9

Section 3 – Church Clerks. 10

Section 3a – Church Clerk. 10

Section 3b – Membership Clerk. 10

Section 5 – Treasurers. 10

Section 5a – Treasurer 10

Section 5b – Assistant Treasurer(s) 11

Section 5c – Collectors. 11

Section 6 – Auditor 11

Section 7 – Delegates. 11

ARTICLE V.. 11

Section 1 – Ministries. 11

Section 1a – Composition and Terms of Ministries. 12

Section 1b – Minutes. 12

Section 2 –. 12

Section 2a – Composition and Terms of Missions. 12

Section 2b – Minutes. 12

Section 3 – Satellite Missions. 12

Section 4 – Ministries and Missions. 13

Section 4a – Ministry of Education. 13

Section 4b – Ministry of Mission and Witness. 13

Section 4c – Ministry of Gifts and Leadership. 13

Section 4d – Ministry of Stewardship. 14

Section 4e – Mission of Finance Advisory. 14

Section 4f – Ministry in the Home and Family. 15

Section 4g – Ministry in the Community. 15

Section 4h – Ministry in the Workplace. 15

Section 4i – Ministry of Church Life. 15

Section 4j – Ministry of Music. 15

Section 4k – Mission of Ushering. 16

Section 4l – Mission of Flower Decoration. 16

Section 4m – Mission of Pastor-Parish Relations. 16

Section 4n – Mission of Personnel 16

Section 5 – Additional Ministries and Missions. 17

Section 6 – Quorum.. 17

ARTICLE VI 17

Section 1 – Church Meetings. 17

Section 1a – Annual Budget Meeting. 17

Section 1b – Annual Election Meeting. 17

Section 1c – Special Meetings. 18

Section 2 – Notice of Meetings. 18

ARTICLE VII 18

ARTICLE VIII 18

ARTICLE IX.. 18

 
ARTICLE I:  NAME

Colchester Federated Church, located in Colchester, Connecticut, continuing the programs and ministry of the Colchester Baptist Church and First Congregational Church of Colchester.  Future references to these churches shall be as Federated, Baptist, and Congregational respectively.  Unless otherwise specified, references to the Colchester Federated Church shall be simply as the ‘church’.

ARTICLE II:  PURPOSE, COVENANTS, SACRAMENTS, AND ORDINANCES

Section 1 – Purpose

We firmly believe that the Federation of the Colchester Baptist Church and the First Congregational Church of Colchester will enable us to render more effective service to the moral and religious life of the Community, as well as to promote, on a larger scale, the Realm of our common God.  For this purpose we unite in worship, service, Christian fellowship, and education; and welcome members by confession of faith or from other Protestant denominations who desire to join our fellowship.  Each Church will maintain its respective denominational identity and connection. 

Let it be known that the First Congregational Church of Colchester is affiliated with the United Church of Christ (UCC) and that the Colchester Baptist Church is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches of the United States of America (ABC).  Unless otherwise specified, all members shall be referred to as UCC, ABC, and Federated members as appropriate.

Section 2 – Church Covenants and Missions Statements

Section 2a – First Congregational Church Covenant

Believing that we have been led by God to unite our efforts to advance the Realm of God on earth, we declare our confidence and faith in one another and hereby express our unity with the following Church Covenant:

Accepting Jesus Christ, as our Sovereign, and by the influence of God’s Spirit, giving ourselves to Christ, we now solemnly covenant with each other that, God helping us, we will walk together in Christian love; that we will exercise a Christian care for each other: that we will assemble ourselves together for worship; that we will strive, by example and effort, to lead others to Christ, and seek to live to the glory of God.

Section 2b – Colchester Baptist Church Covenant

As we trust that we have been brought by divine grace to receive the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the influences of God’s Spirit to give ourselves up to the Lord, so we do now solemnly covenant with each other, as God shall enable us, to walk together in Christian love; that we will exercise a Christian care and watchfulness over each other, and faithfully admonish and entreat one another, as occasion may require; that we will not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, nor neglect the great duty of prayer for ourselves and for others; that we will endeavor to bring up such as may at any time be under our care, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and, by a pure and loving example, to lead our kindred and acquaintances to the Savior, to holiness, and to eternal life, that we will participate in each other’s joys, and endeavor with tenderness and sympathy to bear each other[‘s burdens and sorrows; that we will seek divine aid to enable us to live circumspectly and watchfully in the world, ‘denying ungodliness and worldly lusts’, and remembering that, as we have been voluntarily buried by baptism, and have been raised up from the emblematical grave, so there is on us a special obligation henceforth to lead a new and holy life; that we will strive together for the support of the a faithful evangelical ministry among us; and, through life, amidst evil report and good report, seek to live to the glory of Jesus who has called us out of darkness into God’s marvelous light.

Section 2c – Colchester Federated Church Mission Statement (adopted 1984)

The Colchester Federated Church is a caring Christian congregation made up of individuals and families who are gathered together to grow in life and faith through worship, learning, and a variety of social and spiritual programs.

The church encourages individuals to recognize and value their own self-worth.  It nurtures them as they explore their beliefs and commitments, and it challenges them to expand each other’s horizons of mind, heart, and spirit.

As part of the wider community, the church recognizes the diversity of needs and issues within our society and world.  Bound together by care and faith the church reaches out as our agent of change, creating a healthy, vibrant community and world.

Section 2d – United Church of Christ Statement of Faith (Adapted by Robert V. Moss)

We believe in God, the Eternal Spirit, who is made know to us in Jesus our brother and to whose deeds we testify:

God calls the worlds into being, creates humankind in the divine image, and sets before us the ways of life and death.

God seeks in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin.

God judges all humanity and all nations by that will of righteousness declared through prophets and apostles.

In Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Lord, God has come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin and death and reconciling the whole creation to its creator.

God bestows upon us the Holy Spirit, creating and renewing the church of Jesus Christ, binding in covenant faithful people of all ages, tongues, and races.

God calls us into the church to accept the cost and joy of discipleship, to be servants in the service of the whole human family, to proclaim the gospel to all the world and resist the posers of evil, to share in Christ’s baptism and eat at his table, to join him in his passion and victory.

God promises to all who trust in the gospel forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace, courage in the struggle for justice and peace, the presence of the Holy Spirit in trial and rejoicing, and eternal life in that kingdom which has no end.

Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto God.

Section 3 – Sacraments, Ordinances, and Church Traditions

Section 3a – The Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion

The invitation and call to the Lord’s Supper celebrates not only the memory of a meal that is past, but an actual meal with the risen Christ that is in anticipation of the heavenly banquet.  It is an occasion to celebrate the sacrificial love of Christ and to rededicate our lives to God.  The visible breaking of the bread and the pouring of the wine/grape juice remind us that as participants we are one in the body of Christ.  All Christian believers are invited and welcomed at Christ’s table.

Section 3b – Infant/Child Dedication

Traditionally, Baptist members dedicate their children to God in a Service of Dedication, though Infant Dedication is open to all members who so choose.

A child is a gift from God.  In presenting a child for dedication the parent(s) or guardian(s) commit themselves to raise the child, with God’s help, in an atmosphere of Christian love and faith, so that, at an appropriate time, the child will be able to make an informed decision of faith for him or herself.  The congregation accepts the responsibility of supporting the parent(s) or guardian(s) with love and concern and providing them with resources for parenting and Christian nurturing.

Section 3c – Infant/Child Baptism

Traditionally, UCC members baptize their children in a Service of Baptism, though Infant Baptism is open to all members who so choose.

In the baptism of an infant/child, the parent(s) or guardian(s) and the congregation express both their own faith and their intent to encourage the child to grow into the knowledge of Christ.  At baptism, a child is received into the worldwide body of Christ.

Section 3d – Believer’s Baptism

Believer’s Baptism is open to any person over the age of accountability who has not been previously baptized.  Believer’s baptism is the public acknowledgment that the believer receives for himself or herself Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  When baptized, the person takes on the responsibilities and duties of a new life in Christ.  In baptism a person makes a public statement of a personal decision to follow Jesus Christ.

Section 3e – Mode of Baptism

The sacrament of baptism is received only once as God’s grace is given once and forever.  Baptism may be either by sprinkling or immersion, as may satisfy individual preference and conscience.

Section 3f – Confirmation

Children who are baptized as infants, confirm their faith at an age when they are able to take responsibility for their own actions.

ARTICLE III:  MEMBERSHIP

Section I – Membership

The membership of the Colchester Federated Church shall consist of:

  1. Members in good and regular standing of the Colchester Baptist Church and the American Baptist Churches of the United States of America (ABC).
  2. Members in good and regular standing of the First Congregational Church of Colchester.  These members are affiliated with the United Church of Christ (UCC).
  3. Members of the Colchester Federated Church (Federated Members) who may not choose to designate a denominational preference and have no other official denominational affiliation.

Section 2 – Admission of Membership

The Diaconate shall be authorized to accept persons into membership by Confession of Faith and by Letters of Transfer or Dismissal.

Section 3 – Termination of Membership

One’s Church membership may be terminated for any of the following reasons:

  1. Transfer of membership to another Christian Church
  2. Verification that member has united with another Church without a Letter of Transfer
  3. Withdrawal by own request
  4. As indicated in paragraph below:

A member who has moved from the area or has neither attended services nor contributed to the Church may, after a period of two years of continued absence or disinterest, be removed by action of the Diaconate from the membership rolls to an inactive roll.

Section 4 – Duties of Membership

Members shall pledge themselves to attend the regular worship of the Church and celebration of the Lord’s Supper, to seek to live a Christian life, to remember each other in prayer, and to contribute cheerfully and regularly of their means and of themselves to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the Church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel throughout the world.

Section 5 – Suffrage

Office of Diaconate, Clerks, Clerks, Treasurers, and Ministry of Stewardship shall be filled by members of legal age.

All members in good standing shall be able to vote on all Church matters with the exception of matters involving legal affairs, which may be voted by only those of legal age.  A quorum shall consist of 7% of the total number of members in good standing.

The governing body of the Church shall be the membership assembled in Church meeting.  The vote of a majority of members present at the meeting shall be the action of the Church.

ARTICLE IV:  ADMINISTRATION

Section 1 – Ministers

Section 1a – Senior Minster

The Senior Minister’s duties shall include preaching the Gospel, the administration of the Sacraments and ordinances, the conducting of the public and private religious services of the Church, and the general spiritual oversight of the same including pastoral care.  The Senior Minister shall administer the activities of the Church in cooperation with the various ministries and missions and shall be an ex-officio advisory member of all ministries and missions. 

A Senior Minister shall be chosen and called by the Church through the use of a search committee whenever a vacancy occurs.

Section 1b – Associate Minister

An Associate Minister may be chosen and called by the Church through the use of a search committee (which will include the Senior Minister) after authorization and appropriation of funds.  The duties of the Associate Minister shall include preaching the gospel, the administration of the sacraments, the conducting of the public and private religious services of the Church, pastoral care, and such duties as designated by and in cooperation with the Senior Minister and the Diaconate.

Section 1c – Minister of Christian Education

A Minister of Christian Education may be chosen and called by the Church through the use of a search committee after authorization and appropriation of funds.  The duties of the Minister of Christian Education shall be determined by the Ministry of Education, the Diaconate, and the Senior Minister, and shall be performed in cooperation with the Senior Minister and the Ministry of Education.

Section 1d – Director of Religious Education or Youth Director

A director of Religious Education may be engaged by the Ministry of Religious Education and the Senior Minister after authorization and appropriation of funds by a Church Meeting.  Termination of services shall be by action of the Senior Minister and Ministry of Religious Education.

Section 1e – Ministerial Vacancies

Ministerial vacancies shall be filled by Interims provided for by the Diaconate and the Ministry of Church Life in cooperation with the UCC and ABC denominations.

Section 2 – Diaconate

Section 2a – Diaconate

The Diaconate shall consist of one representative[1] from each ministry, not less than two nor more than four additional members (the “at-large” members), and a Chair and Vice-chair, elected by the congregation at the annual meeting.  The Diaconate shall consist of ABC, UCC, and Federated members in no specific ration thereof.  The Diaconate shall consist of men and women; care shall be taken to ensure diverse representation.

The members shall be elected to terms of two years.  Members shall be ineligible to serve more than four consecutive years and may not be re-elected for at least one year.  Representatives for Ministry of Gifts and Leadership, Ministry in Home and Family, Ministry of Stewardship, Ministry in the Workplace, and Chair and Vice-chair of the Diaconate shall be elected in odd years.  Representatives from Ministry of Mission and Witness, Ministry in Church Life, Ministry of Education, and Ministry in the Community shall be elected in even years.  A Secretary and Treasurer shall be chosen at the first meeting following the annual meeting.

The Diaconate is responsible for empowering the congregation and its members to take the body of Christ into the community, home, workplace, and the world.  It shall be responsible for the work of the Church.  The Diaconate shall encourage decisions to be made which reflect the faith of the congregation and which honor the gifts of its members and friends.  It shall be the center for planning, coordination, monitoring, and evaluation of the mission and ministry of our Church.

The Diaconate, therefore has the following responsibilities:

1.      The spiritual growth, well-being, and worship life of the Church and its members.

2.      Preparation of communion elements, assistance in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, baptism, dedication, and reception of new members.

3.      Concern for the needs of the ill.

4.      Inviting people into the fellowship of the Church and providing for their education concerning this congregation and for:

i.                    Acceptance and incorporation of persons into membership by confession of faith or letter of transfer.

ii.                  Granting letters of dismissal.

iii.                Determination of inactive status as provided for in Article III.

5.      Maintenance of a Deacons’ Fund.  This fund will be dispensed by the Senior Minster, to be financed by a special collection every Communion Sunday and at special services such as Maundy Thursday and Christmas Eve.  Any expenditure other than personal hardship needs shall be approved by the Diaconate.

6.      All appointments for the service of public worship and arrangements for the pastoral care of the parish, in the absence of the minister.

7.      With the Ministry of Gifts and Leadership, nominating a Search Committee, as the need arises, to be voted on at a legally warned Church meeting.

8.      Providing insight and guidance to the Ministers of the Church in the execution of their duties.[2]

9.      Submitting a report for inclusion in the Church’s Annual Report.

10. Keeping minutes of all Diaconate meetings, a copy to be provided for members of the Diaconate, Ministers, and for the Church records.

11. Presenting Annual Church Budget for congregational approval at the Annual Budget Meeting.

12. Particular responsibilities of the at-large members of the Diaconate shall be determined by the Diaconate or by its Chair.  (Amendments voted May 5, 1996, in italics.)

13. Shall be responsible for appointing a member of the Ministry of Stewardship, Ministry of Mission and Witness and a member of the Diaconate to organize and chair the annual pledge campaign.[3]

Section 2b – Deacon Emeritus

Deacon Emeritus is an honorary position granted to any man or woman who has served on the Diaconate and also has earned the title through honorable service over a period of years.  Deacon Emeritus shall have all rights and privileges of a regular Deacon.

A person may be elected Deacon Emeritus by the Church body at the Church Annual Election Meeting, upon nomination by the Diaconate.

Section 3 – Church Clerks

The Clerks shall be elected by the representative church bodies for a one-year term at the Annual Election Meeting.

Section 3a – Church Clerk

The Church Clerk shall keep distinct and full minutes of all business transactions of the Church and have charge of the archives.  The clerk shall also warn the congregation of all official church meetings.

Section 3b – Membership Clerk

The Membership Clerk shall keep a record of all receptions and dismissals and deaths of members; of all baptisms, both of infants and adults; of all not-resident members of this Church and the length of time thy have been absent.

The Membership Clerk shall make a well-written report of all these matters to the Diaconate prior to the Annual Election Meeting of the Church.  The Membership Clerk also shall conduct the correspondence of the Church relating to letters of dismissal and recommendations in accordance with its rules, and shall prepare and keep a proper catalog and index of all its members.  A copy of these records shall be sent to the Baptist or Congregational Clerk, as appropriate.

The Membership Clerk shall also keep a record of each member’s denominational preference.  No member shall be required to state their preference and, if not is stated, they will be listed as members of the Colchester Federated Church.

Section 5 – Treasurers

The Treasurer and the Assistant Treasurer(s) shall each be elected for two-year terms on alternating years at the Annual Election Meeting.

Section 5a – Treasurer

The duties of the Treasurer shall be to:

1.      Receive all funds of the Church and income from the invested funds of both the Colchester Baptist Church and the First Congregational Church and keep a correct account of all monies received and expended.

2.      Pay all bills of the Church as authorized by the Ministry of Stewardship in accordance with procedure approved by the membership at an Annual or Special Meeting.

3.      Render at the Annual Budget Meeting of the Church, an itemized and audited account of all receipts and expenditures of the Church.

4.      Serve as a member of Mission of Finance Advisory and member ex-officio of the Ministry of Stewardship.

5.       

Section 5b – Assistant Treasurer(s)

Duties of the Assistant Treasurer(s) shall be determined by the Treasurer.

Section 5c – Collectors

The Treasurer may appoint Collectors to assist with his/her duties as needed.  All Collectors shall be approved by the Ministry of Stewardship.

Section 6 – Auditor

The Auditor shall be appointed or hired, as required, by the Ministry of Stewardship.

The primary duty of the Auditor is to examine the financial records of the Church periodically to ensure that they are up to date and in proper order.  Audits shall be performed at intervals not to exceed two years.

Section 7 – Delegates

The number of delegates from our congregation to Association, State, and National meetings is determined by denominational guidelines.  The Delegates’ responsibilities shall include the following:

a)     Read all conference materials sent to them throughout the year.

b)     Inform the congregation prior to the conference meeting of the issues and resolutions to be discussed.

c)      Attend the state conference annual meetings.

d)     Review the resolutions and discuss them with the congregation either by newsletter, Crier article, or a church forum.

e)     Submit a written report to be included in the church annual report.[4]

ARTICLE V

MINISTRIES AND MISSIONS

Section 1 – Ministries

Section 1a – Composition and Terms of Ministries

Ministries shall consist of the members, Chair and Vice-chair of the ministry who are elected at the Annual Election meeting of the congregation.  The Ministries shall report to the Diaconate and the ministries shall each nominate one representative from its members to serve on the Diaconate.[5]

Members, excluding the Chair and Vice-chair, shall be elected to staggered terms of two years, and shall be ineligible to serve more than four consecutive years and may not be reelected to serve that ministry for at least one year.  No person may serve with a ministry in any capacity for more than six consecutive years and may not be reelected to that ministry for at least one year.  Ministries may recruit satellite positions as needed.

Section 1b – Minutes

Minutes shall be kept of all ministry meetings, a copy to be provided for all members of the ministry and all members of the Diaconate.

Section 2 –

Section 2a – Composition and Terms of Missions

A mission shall consist of one or more elected and/or appointed individuals who perform their mission in cooperation with a specific ministry.  Mission composition, election, and term requirements are specified in the individual mission descriptions.  Missions may recruit satellite missions as needed.

Section 2b – Minutes

Minutes shall be kept of all mission meetings, a copy to be provided for all members of the mission and all members of the ministry with which the mission cooperates. 

Section 3 – Satellite Missions

Ministries and missions may recruit members and friends of the congregation to form satellite missions of those ministries or missions.  Those satellite missions will take responsibility for the specific tasks which are part of the mission of those ministries or missions.

The ministries and missions are not only invited, but urged to utilize the gifts of the congregation.  The ministries or missions are responsible for providing the satellite missions with written descriptions of their tasks, which will include definite lengths of service.  The ministries or missions shall oversee the satellite missions, provide support, and develop a system for communication and recognition.  Such persons or groups of persons, designated by the ministries or missions, shall be responsible to the Church through the ministries or missions.

Section 4 – Ministries and Missions

A graphic representation of the relationship between the ministries, missions and satellite missions may be3 found in Figure I at the end of this document.

Section 4a – Ministry of Education

Ministry of Education shall consist of six members plus a Chair and Vice-chair, including UCC, ABC, and whenever possible, Federated members.  It shall have general oversight of the entire field of Christian education and shall advise and coordinate the various groups under it.  Responsibilities of the ministry shall include adult Christian education, Christian education for children and youth, confirmation classes, and youth ministry.  The ministry shall also consult with other ministries on their educational programs.

Section 4b – Ministry of Mission and Witness

Ministry of Mission and Witness shall consist of four members, a Chair and Vice-chair, including UCC, ABC, and whenever possible, Federated members.  The ministry shall be responsible for educating the congregation about the mission of the Church in its local communities and, through the United Church of Christ and American Baptist denominations, throughout the world.  The ministry shall provide for the congregation to participate in special mission offerings and in service through local and global opportunities.

Section 4c – Ministry of Gifts and Leadership

Ministry of Gifts and Leadership shall consist of four members, a Chair and Vice-chair, including UCC, ABC, and whenever possible, Federated members.  Its responsibilities shall include the following:

  1. To nominate a slate of officers, ministries, and missions to be voted upon at the following Annual Election Meeting.[6]
  2. To identify skills and talents of Church members.
  3. To cultivate and support volunteer leadership in the life of the Church and community.
  4. To plan for and implement an ongoing program of training of ministry leaders and members.
  5. To evaluate and determine leadership development needs
  6. To promote and generally invite individuals to participate in worship and other events sponsored by the wider Church.
  7. To develop a means of volunteer recognition.
  8. To nominate new officers or ministry members which are needed to fill any positions that become vacant during the year.

Section 4d – Ministry of Stewardship

Ministry of Stewardship shall consist of six members, a Chair and Vice-chair, including UCC, ABC, and whenever possible, Federated members.  The Ministry of Stewardship shall be responsible for oversight of all the financial affairs of the Church.

  1. It shall conduct special fund-raising events, as it deems appropriate, and shall have oversight of all fund-raising activities.[7]
  2. The Ministry of Stewardship shall have supervision of all properties owned or used by the Church.[8]
  3. The Ministry of Stewardship shall prepare annually, a Church Budget to be presented to the Diaconate and shall be responsible for dispensing Church monies in accordance with the budget approved by the congregation at the Annual Budget Meeting.  It shall review all bills and authorize payments by the Treasurer in accordance with its own published procedures.  Said procedures to be approved at an Annual or Special Church Meeting.
  4. It shall receive bequests and administer them in accordance with the terms of the bequests and the procedures of the Church for endowment or permanent funds.
  5. The Ministry of Stewardship shall maintain a list of all pertinent decisions made by the ministry throughout the year.  Prior to the Annual Election Meeting, this list shall be given to the Church Clerk to be recorded in the Church records.

Section 4e – Mission of Finance Advisory

Mission of Finance Advisory shall consist of four people, elected at the Annual Election Meeting in staggered terms of two years, each serving no more than four consecutive years.  Along with the Treasurer of the Colchester Federated Church, the Treasurer of the First Congregational Church, and the Treasurer of the Colchester Baptist Church, they will review all invested funds, stocks, and otherwise, as to dollar value, number of stocks, return on investments, etc.  This mission shall be responsible for financial development including the encouragement of bequests and other large gifts for the Church’s future ministry.

The mission will report to the Ministry of Stewardship and the Annual Budget Meetings of the Colchester Federated Church, the Colchester Baptist Church, and the First Congregational Church.

This mission may make comments and suggestions regarding endowment fund management, and is authorized to initiate minor adjustments to the distribution of endowment fund assets, as described in Section C of the Finance Advisory Committee Operating Procedures.  Any other changes must have the support of this mission and a majority vote of the Church body.

Section 4f – Ministry in the Home and Family

Ministry in the Home and Family shall consist of four members, a Chair and Vice-chair, including UCC, ABC, and whenever possible, Federated members.   Its areas of concern shall include parenting and childcare; aging; singleness; life cycle issues; and caring for one’s parents.

Section 4g – Ministry in the Community

Ministry in the Community shall consist of four members, a Chair and Vice-chair, including UCC, ABC, and whenever possible, Federated members.   Its areas of concern shall include service and advocacy on local issues; public schools, scouting and recreation; housing; caring ministries at times of crises and encouraging service on government/community boards.

Section 4h – Ministry in the Workplace

Ministry in the Workplace shall consist of four members, a Chair and Vice-chair, including UCC, ABC, and whenever possible, Federated members.  Its areas of concern shall include vocational and ethical issues, retirement, development of leadership in the workplace and youth vocational discernment.

Section 4i – Ministry of Church Life

Ministry of Church Life shall consist of four members, a Chair and Vice-chair, including UCC, ABC, and whenever possible, Federated members.   It shall be responsible for:

  1. Planning regular and special worship services, in conjunction with the Senior and Associate Ministers.
  2. Maintaining the items and physical space related to worship, subject to the approval of the Ministry of Stewardship
  3. Coordinating the activities which welcome people into the life of the congregation.
  4. Encouraging participation in worship, worship leadership, fellowship, and spiritual nurture.
  5. Building community and cultivating group life.

Section 4j – Ministry of Music

Ministry of Music shall consist of four members plus a chairperson, a vice-chairperson, and the Church Music Director.  The Chairperson will be chosen by the Ministry of Gifts and Leadership.

The Ministry shall be responsible for the maintenance and repair of the church’s musical instruments.

The Ministry shall encourage, support, and promote the church’s music programs and their growth including the existing structured musical groups.

It shall also encourage congregational participation and support through hymn singing and listening to presented music.  (Amendments voted May5, 1996, in italics)

Section 4k – Mission of Ushering

Mission of Ushering shall consist of one Chairperson and as many ushers as needed.  The Chairperson shall be elected to a one-year term at the Annual Election Meeting and will be responsible for recruiting, training, and scheduling the ushers.  The mission shall report to Ministry of Church Life.

Section 4l – Mission of Flower Decoration

Mission of Flower Decoration shall consist of one Chairperson and as many people as needed.  The Chairperson shall be elected to a one-year term at the Annual Election Meeting and will be responsible for recruiting and schedule assistance.  It shall be the duty of the Mission of Flower Decoration to provide for the floral needs of the Church

The mission shall report to Ministry of Church Life.

Section 4m – Mission of Pastor-Parish Relations

Mission of Pastor-Parish Relations shall consist of five members appointed by mutual agreement of the Chairperson of the Diaconate and Ministers.  They shall serve for six-year terms, with term rotation occurring every other year.  An entirely new mission shall be formed by the above procedure on the occasion of the calling of a new minister.

The mission shall report, as needed, to the Diaconate.

Section 4n – Mission of Personnel

Mission of Personnel shall consist of one Chairperson and two members plus a representative from the Diaconate and the Ministry of Stewardship.  The members of the Mission of Personnel shall be elected to a two-year term at the Annual Election Meeting.  It shall be responsible for:

  1. Making decisions as necessary concerning development and execution of personnel administration and compensation policies for all paid church staff positions.
  2. Verify ongoing compliance of established personnel policies.
  3. Conduct annual performance reviews of the pastors.[9]

Section 5 – Additional Ministries and Missions

Additional ministries and missions may be elected by the Church at any meeting legally called for that purpose.

Section 6 – Quorum

A quorum of all ministries and missions shall be one-half of the ministry or mission membership.

ARTICLE VI

MEETINGS

Section 1 – Church Meetings

Appropriate business for regular and special Church meetings consists of the following specified business, as well as any significant changes of Church policy, tradition, personnel, or non-budgeted expenditures in excess of $5,000.00.[10]

Section 1a – Annual Budget Meeting

A Budget Meeting of the Church shall be held annually on the last Sunday in January for the purpose of:

  1. Reviewing the financial reports
  2. Reviewing and approving the Church budget.

The fiscal year shall be based on the calendar year, January 1 through December 31.

Section 1b – Annual Election Meeting

An Election Meeting of the Church shall be held annually on the first Sunday in May for the purpose of:

  1. Hearing annual reports of ministries and missions.
  2. Electing new officers, members of ministries, missions, and delegates, etc.
  3. Taking up any other appropriate business.

The newly elected officers shall take office June 1st.

Section 1c – Special Meetings

A special Church meeting may be called by the Senior Minister, the Diaconate, the Ministry of Stewardship, or by the majority of members present at any Church meeting.  Notice of these meetings shall be given from the pulpit at the morning service(s) the preceding Sunday and a copy of the same posted on the Church door at least five (5) days in advance of the meeting.

Section 2 – Notice of Meetings

Notice of these meetings shall be given from the pulpit at the morning service(s) of the preceding Sunday, and a copy of the same posted on the Church door at least five (5) days in advance of the meeting.

ARTICLE VII

AMENDMENTS

These Bylaws of the Colchester Federated Church may be amended by two-thirds vote of the UCC, ABC, and Federated members of the Colchester Federated Church present at any regular meeting or at a special meeting called by the Senior Minister, the Diaconate, or the Ministry of Stewardship for that purpose.  A minimum of one month notice shall be given for any Church meeting at which Bylaw amendments will be voted on with a meeting call being delivered to the congregation at each Sunday following the initial warning.  Proposed bylaw amendments are to be summarized and included in the warning of the meeting.

ARTICLE VIII

RULES OF ORDER

The rules contained in Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised, shall govern in the Colchester Federated Church in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these Bylaws.  In matters not covered by the Bylaws, reference shall be made to the current issue of the Manual for the United Church of Christ.

ARTICLE IX

DISSOLUTION

The Federation may be dissolved by a majority vote of

The Federation may be dissolved by a majority vote of resident membership of either the Colchester Baptist Church or the First Congregational Church of Colchester, one year from the date of request, at an Annual Election Meeting of the Colchester Federated Church.



[1] Changed to one representative from two at the 5/21/2000 Church Meeting

[2] Statement “In conjunction with the Mission of Pastor-Parish Relations, provide an annual performance evaluation of each Minister.”  removed at 5/21/2000 church meeting.  Now the responsibility of Mission of Personnel.

[3] Item 13 regarding oversight of the appointment of a pledge drive committee was approved at 5/6/2000 church meeting.

[4] Further definition of Delegates’ responsibilities was approved at 5/6/2000 church meeting.

[5] Changed to selecting a member of the Ministry to serve on the Diaconate from the Chair and Vice-chair at 5/21/2000 church meeting.

[6] Changed to not include the nomination of Diaconate members by the Ministry of Gifts and Leadership at 5/21/2000 church meeting.

[7] Approval for the removal of the responsibility for annual pledge campaign at 5/6/2000 church meeting.

[8] Statement “It shall specify the duties of the Sexton and shall select and supervise the Sexton.” Removed at 5/21/2000 church meeting.  Now the responsibility of Mission of Personnel.

[9] Mission of Personnel was approved at 6/20/99 church meeting.

[10] Amount increase from $2000 to $5000 was approved at 5/6/01 church meeting.

Colchester Federated Church, Colchester, Connecticut