Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church



It is the will of the Lord Jesus Christ that His disciples should preach the Gospel to the whole world (Mark 16:15, Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8). That Christ's mission for His Church might be carried out according to His will, He has commanded that Christians unite in worship (Hebrews 10:24-25), practice fellowship with one another (Acts 2:42), witness to all men (Acts 1 :8), help each other grow in the Word (Ephesians 4:11-14), serve the needs of all men in Christian love (Ephesians 4:7-16, Mark 10:42-44, John 13:35, Galatians 6:10), administer the Office of the Keys as His Church (John 20: 21-23, Matthew 18:15-20), and maintain decency and order (1 Corinthians 14:40) in the Church.

Therefore, we, a number of Lutheran Christians living near Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church of Lincoln, Nebraska, accept and subscribe to the following Constitution and By-Laws, in accordance with which all spiritual and material affairs of our congregation shall be governed.

Article 1: Name

The name of this congregation shall be:

Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church of Lincoln, Nebraska.

Article 2: Confession

This congregation accepts all the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired, revealed and inerrant word of God, and all the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, contained in the Book of Concord of 1580, as the correct presentation and true exposition of Christian Doctrine drawn from the Holy Scriptures, viz:

  1. The three Ecumenical creeds, viz: The Apostolic, The Nicene, and The Athanasian
  2. The Unaltered Augsburg Confession
  3. The Apology of the Augsburg Confession
  4. The Smalcald articles
  5. Luther's Large Catechism
  6. Luther's Small Catechism
  7. The Formula of Concord

No doctrine or practice in conflict, or inconsistent, with the above norms of our faith and life shall be taught or tolerated in this congregation.

Article 3: Synodical Affiliation

This congregation shall be affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod as long as the confessions and constitution of said Synod are in accord with the confession and constitution of this congregation as laid down in Article 2.

This congregation shall, to the best of its ability, collaborate with said Synod and assist it in effecting all sound measures intended for the building up of the Kingdom of God.

Article 4: Membership

A. Baptized membership in this congregation is held by all those who are baptized in the Name of the Triune God with water and are under our pastoral care.             

B. Communicant membership in this congregation may be held only by those who:

  1. Are baptized in the Name of the Triune God,
  2. Have declared their acceptance of the confessions of this congregation as contained in Article 2 of this constitution.
  3. Have been accepted into communicant membership in accordance with the By-Laws of this congregation and shall remain faithful to the responsibilities of Membership as contained in these By-Laws.
  4. Do not live in open sins as described in Galatians 5:19-21, but lead a Christian life. Are not members of a secret society or of any other organization conflicting with the Word of God and the conduct of a Christian (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).

C. The Membership, and membership privileges, of each communicant member shall remain in force so long as each member shall maintain his eligibility according to the four points in Section B of this article and shall meet the requirement stated or implied in the disciplinary, or other provisions, of the By-Laws. A member who voluntarily severs his connection with this congregation, or who has been released or transferred or who has been excommunicated or excludes himself according to the provisions of the By-Laws, shall be deemed to have terminated his membership in this congregation along with all rights and privileges of such membership.

Article 5: Organization
A. Voting membership 
  1. This congregation shall be represented by, and administer all its affairs through its Voting Membership.
  2. Only communicant members, who have qualified according to the membership provisions of the By-Laws, shall be received as Voting Members of this Congregation
B. Administrative Boards

Responsibility and authority of the daily administration of congregational affairs shall be delegated to the following boards:

  1. A Board of Elders
  2. A Board of Missions and Evangelism
  3. A Board of Christian Education
  4. A Board of Youth Ministry
  5. A Board of Stewardship
  6. A Board of Church Properties
  7. A Board of Parish Fellowship
  8. A Board of Public Relations

       One member of each Administrative Board, who is a Voting Member, shall serve as Chairman of that Board.

C. Officers of the Congregation.

The Officers of the congregation shall consist of the Chairman of the Congregation. and Vice Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, and Financial Recording Secretary.

The Chairman of the Congregation, (or the Vice Chairman, when acting in the Chairman's capacity) shall have a voice on all Administrative Boards, but his right to vote shall be limited to such Board or Boards on which he may hold membership. The Pastor(s) of the congregation shall be an ex-officio member of all Boards and their associated committees, and may, at his discretion, attend any or all meetings.

D. Parish Planning Council

The Parish Planning Council shall consist of the Pastor(s), the Chairman of the Congregation the Vice Chairman, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the Financial Recording Secretary, and the Chairmen of the eight Administrative Boards listed in Section B, of this article. They shall hold a position on the Parish Planning Council by virtue of their call or election by the Voting Members of the congregation so long as their term of office continues. In the absence of a Chairman of one of the boards his designated representative may attend with equal rights.

E. Rights and Powers

This congregation, subject to the limiting provisions and regulations of this Constitution and its associated By-Laws, shall have supreme power in the administration of its affairs. No duly elected officers of this congregation shall have any power or authority beyond that conferred upon them by the congregation acting through its Voting Membership. Each Administrative Board, along with the Parish Planning Council, shall be responsible for the performance of such duties as the Voting Membership may delegate to them by special resolution. Such specially delegated rights and powers, both of officers and Administrative Boards, shall be subject to revision or complete withdrawal by the Voting Membership at its discretion.

Article 6: Pastors and other called Workers

Only such candidates shall be called and elected to serve as Pastors, or as other called workers, who profess acceptance of, and pledge faithful adherence to, the confessions of this congregation as set forth in Article 2 of this Constitution

In the absence of adequate cause for dismissal, as defined in the By-Laws of the congregation, the tenure of office of a called or elected Pastor or other called worker shall be the remainder of his active life, or until the Lord calls him into another field of service.

Article 7: Societies

Societies may be organized within the congregation only with the expressed approval of the Voting Membership, and all such societies shall be under the supervision of the Pastor(s) and the appropriate Administrative Board under whose jurisdiction they function. Only Communicant members of this congregation shall be officers of such societies or groups. Any decisions, enactments or performance of or by societies or groups shall be invalid if they conflict with this Constitution and its associated By-Laws. The Pastor(s), by virtue of his office, shall be the advisor for such societies or groups within the congregation.

Article 8: Property Rights

If, at any time, a separation should take place within this congregation, the advice of the officers of District and Synod shall be sought. If, despite all efforts to resolve differences in peace and love, a division into factions of the congregation shall occur, the property of the congregation and all benefits therewith connected shall remain with those members who continue to adhere in confession and practice to Article 4 of this Constitution.

Article 9: Validity of Resolutions

All congregation matters shall be decided by a simple majority vote of the qualified Voting Members at a properly convened meeting of the Voting Membership, except as otherwise provided in this Constitution and its associated By-Laws for dealing with certain situations or matters therein specifically mentioned and defined.

Article 10: Amendments

A. This Constitution may be changed or amended, with the exception of the Articles listed in Section B of this article, by a three-fourths majority of the votes cast in a regular meeting of the Voting Membership, provided that the intention to amend the Constitution and the wording of the amendments proposed shall be made available to the congregation assembled for worship on two different Sundays prior to the date upon which the amendment is presented for action. 

B. Articles 2, 3,4, 6 and 8 are hereby made irrevocable.


Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church

The By-Laws of the Constitution

Article 1: Communicant Membership
Section 1. Application for Membership Procedure

Applicants for communicant membership in this congregation shall consult with the Pastor who shall determine whether such applicants are eligible for membership in accordance with Article 4 of the Constitution. Applicants not familiar with the doctrines and confessions of the Lutheran Church shall be required to attend a course of instruction, and to make profession of their faith either before the congregation or, at the Pastor's discretion, before witnesses who are members of the Board of Elders before being received as members.

Applicants from other congregations of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod shall submit a letter of transfer from their former congregation to establish their eligibility for membership. In the case of applicants whose previous membership in a Lutheran Congregation has lapsed, the Pastor may, with the consent of the Board of Elders, arrange for a period of reinstruction prior to reaffirmation of their faith.

After applicants have given satisfactory evidence of their eligibility in accordance with the two preceding paragraphs, their admission as communicant members shall be recommended by the Pastor to the Board of Elders which shall have the authority to act on such application in behalf of the Voting Membership. The roster of new members shall be publicized in the various news media of the congregation.

Section 2. Privileges and Duties of Communicant Members

It shall be the privilege and duty of members of this congregation to:

Grow in the Christian faith and life through faithful use of the means of grace, searching the Scriptures at home and in fellowship with other members of the congregation and its agencies, and partaking of the Lord's Supper frequently.

Live a morally decent life before God and men. abstaining from open sins (Galatians 5:19-21), and so conducting themselves at all times as to bring credit rather than blame upon the Church of Jesus Christ.

Be generous in the use of time and talents in the maintenance of the congregation and the extension of the Kingdom of God at home and abroad to the limit of their abilities. Place their God-given talents and abilities at the disposal of the Pastor(s), the officers, and other agencies of the congregation as set forth in its Constitution and By-Laws, so that the purposes and functions of the congregation may be effectively implemented.

Article 2: Voting Membership
Section 1. Eligibility

Communicant members of this congregation, who are 19 years of age or over, both male and female, shall be considered voting members of the congregation. They shall be provided with a copy of the Constitution and By-Laws of the congregation upon achieving eligibility for voting membership and encouraged to support and abide by them.

Section 2. Privileges and Duties of Voting Members

It shall be the privilege and duty of Voting Members of this congregation to:

Conscientiously and prayerfully exercise their right of suffrage in all measures that will advance the work of Christ's Kingdom, both locally and in the church-at-large. Willingly serve in any office or capacity for which their talents and abilities equip them. Faithfully attend all meetings of the Voting Membership.

Assist with wholehearted diligence in administering the temporal and spiritual affairs of the congregation.

Section 3. Relinquishing/Suspending Voting Membership

Voting Membership will be suspended if:

  1. The member is on the Elder’s inactive list which is defined as absence from worship at Immanuel for more than twelve consecutive weeks. 
  2. Under church discipline.
  3. Voting Membership will be terminated, at the request of the Voting Member or by transfer or release of Voting Member.
Article 3: Discipline in the Congregation

All discipline in this congregation shall be administered in accordance with the order of discipline laid down in Matthew 18:15-20, 1 Corinthians 5:1-5, and other related New Testament passages, The following procedure shall be followed under the direction of the Pastor(s) and the Board of Elders.

Section 1. Communicant Membership-Termination

A. Transfers - A communicant member desiring transfer to another Missouri Synod Lutheran congregation shall apply to the Pastor. Upon approval by the Pastor and the Board of Elders, a letter of transfer shall be issued by the Pastor. The Board of Elders shall report all transfers to the congregation via church publications.

B. Joining other churches - In cases where communicant members of this congregation have joined a non-Lutheran or a non-Missouri Synod Lutheran congregation, they shall, upon the decision of the Pastor(s) and the Board of Elders, be deemed to have terminated their membership in this congregation, forfeiting all rights and privileges of such membership. Their name(s) shall be removed from the membership list of the congregation and reported in the churches publications.

C. Whereabouts Unknown – The names of members whose whereabouts are unknown and cannot be established within a period of six months shall be removed from the membership list of the congregation and places in a file designated “Whereabouts Unknown”.  Such membership is terminated and shall be reported via church publications.

D. Communicant Members living at a distance from the church - The Board of Elders will judge each case on its own merits (e.g., military , school, temporary employment, etc.)

E. Excommunication and Self-Exclusion - When a member of Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church has not communed for three months, he/she will receive a visit from their respective elder and shall be admonished and encouraged. If such a member has not communed after 6 months, he or she shall receive another visit by at least two members of the congregation, one the respective elder of the individual and the other the Pastor or another concerned member of the congregation. Additional admonition and encouragement shall be given. If, after nine months, such a member still has not communed and is not attending the worship services of the Church, he or she shall be evangelically admonished more firmly and told that if such neglect continues for another 3 months, it shall be interpreted as impenitence, lack of faith in Jesus Christ, and indifference to Church membership, privileges, and responsibilities, If, then, after 12 months, the member has not responded to Christian admonition as outlined above, the member's name shall be transferred to the mission file of the congregation or turned over to the Board of Mission and Evangelism. The individual shall be notified of such action by mail and shall be declared to have excluded himself from this Christian congregation.

F. Such self-exclusion releases the individual from all responsibilities to their congregation, but it also excludes the member from the privileges of church membership, such as Christian burial, transfer to a sister congregation, and of any claim against the properties of the congregation. Such a person, however, will at all times be cordially welcome to attend all divine services in our church. Excommunication is to be applied to any member who conducts himself in an unchristian manner, i.e., to one who openly adheres to false doctrine, gives evidence of immoral and offensive life, or willfully despises the preaching of the Gospel and the Lord's Supper. The Board of Elders shall administer church discipline. The Voter's Assembly will act on final excommunication proceedings. Persons who have been removed from membership for whatever reason shall be restored with all rights and privileges when they repent and ask forgiveness. Restoration shall be made known to all communicant members by whatever method the Pastor and the Board of Elders deem most suitable.

Section 2. Provisions Pertaining to Church Officers and Chairmen

Any officer or chairman of the congregation who willfully neglects the duties of his office may be deposed by a two-thirds majority vote of the Voting Members present in a regular meeting of the Voters' Assembly. The Board of Elders shall initiate such disciplinary action. When an office is made vacant by deposition, resignation, death or excommunication of the incumbent, a successor to such officer or chairman shall be elected by the Planning Council at their next meeting.

Section 3. Provisions Pertaining to Pastors and other Called Workers

Sufficient grounds for deposing a Pastor or other called or contracted worker shall be persistent adherence to false doctrine, scandalous life, and willful neglect of official duties or evident and protracted incapacity to perform the function of the sacred office. Charges on any of these counts shall be carefully investigated by the Board of Elders, or in the case of a teacher, by the Board of Christian Education. Should such charges be substantiated by clear evidence the individual involved shall first be given an opportunity to resign his/her position in the congregation. Such opportunity having been given and declined, the above mentioned Board(s) shall after consultation with the appropriate officers of the Nebraska District, notify the Voting Membership of the situation, and shall submit the matter for action at a special meeting of that body. A three-fourths majority vote of the Voting Members present shall be required to depose a Pastor or other called worker.

Should the occasion to depose a Pastor or other called worker ever arise, the intended deposition shall be announced by the Chairman of the Board of Elders at regular divine services on the two Sundays preceding a special meeting of the Voting Members called for that purpose, All Voting Members shall be notified by mail at least two weeks in advance.

Article 4: Meetings of the Congregation

Section 1. Regular Meetings

Regular meetings of the Voting Membership shall be held four (4) times per calendar year, during the following months: January, April, July, and October. Dates and times of all Voters' Meetings shall be set by the Parish Planning Council. A budget meeting of the Voting Members will be held in October to consider and accept a financial budget for the following year.

All communicant members of the congregation may attend the meetings of the Voters' Assembly and may, with consent of the Chairman of the Congregation, submit recommendations, or participate in a discussion of any given item of business before the Voting Membership.

Every meeting of the Voting Membership shall be announced at the worship services on the Sunday preceding the date of the meeting.

Section 2. Special Meetings

Special meetings of the Voters' Assembly may be called by the Board of Elders, by the Pastor, at the request of any one of the administrative Boards, or at the request of 10 voting members of the congregation. Notice of the date and time of such a meeting, and of the nature of the business to be transacted, shall be given at least ten days prior to the meeting. Notification can be provided in various forms, but at a minimum shall be announced at the Sunday worship services preceding the meeting.

Section 3. Order of Business at Regular Meetings

Regular meetings of the Voting Membership shall proceed as follows:

  1. Scripture reading and/or prayer
  2. Confirmation of quorum
  3. Recognition of new voting members
  4. Minutes of previous meeting(s), including special meetings
  5. Unfinished business
  6. Treasurer's reports
  7. Reports from Committees of the voting membership
  8. New business
  9. State of parish report by Pastor
  10. Adjournment.

The Chairman of the Congregation may, with the consent of the voting membership, vary the above order in the interests of efficiency.

In general for purposes of order, the latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order shall prevail.

Section 4. Restriction pertaining to Voters' Assembly Meetings

Ten percent of eligible voting membership shall constitute a quorum of a properly called Voters' Assembly meeting, except as otherwise provided in this Constitution and By-Laws for dealing with certain specific situations herein defined.

In the event of a tie vote, the Chairman of the Congregation vote shall be counted. There shall be no voting by proxy.

Article 5: The Office of the Pastor and other Called Workers
Section 1. Procedure for securing a Pastor or other Called Worker

After consultation by the Board of Elders with the President of the Nebraska District or his representative, candidates for the pastorate shall be proposed at the next regular meeting of the Voting Membership or at a special meeting called for that purpose. In the case of a called worker, the appropriate board shall consult with the appropriate District representative and shall present a list of candidates in the same manner as described above. In either case, additional candidates may be proposed by any Voting Member at the meeting called to discuss the candidates. The Voters shall then adopt a list of candidates. At that meeting, or at a subsequent regular or special meeting of the Voting Membership, the Voters shall elect one of the proposed candidates by ballot and simple majority. It shall be the duty of the Chairman of the Congregation to see that notice of his election is delivered promptly to the candidate in whatever manner the Voting Membership shall deem advisable.

Negotiations for contract teachers (new or renewal) shall be delegated to the Board of Christian Education and such negotiations and terms agreed to shall come before the Voting Membership for approval in regular and special meetings assembled.

Section 2. The Pastoral Office

The Pastoral Office is the authority conferred upon pastors by God, through a Call of the congregation (the holder of the priesthood and of all congregational authority) to exercise in public office the common rights of spiritual priesthood from which all other offices of the congregation issue. However, the congregation may establish as many auxiliary offices as its needs require and determine what work is to be assigned to such offices.

Upon being installed, the Pastor is authorized and obligated to proclaim to the congregation, jointly and severally, the Word of God in its full truth and purity as contained in the canonical writings of the Old and New Testaments and professed in the Book of Concord of the year 1580. He is further:

To administer the sacraments in accordance with their divine institution;

To discharge toward all members of the congregation the functions of a minister and curate of their souls in evangelical manner, in particular to visit the sick and the dying and admonish indifferent and erring members;

To spiritually guard the welfare of the younger members of the congregation and adults during their preparation for acceptance for Holy Communion;

To guide the congregation in applying the divinely ordained discipline of the church; To provide spiritual leadership and oversight in the educational agencies and various adult and youth organizations within the congregation;

To serve as an example by Christian conduct and to do all that is possible for the up-building of the congregation and for the advancement of the Kingdom of Christ. By reason of his position the Pastor is not only a servant and steward of God, but also of the congregation. The pastor shall have the authority and responsibility for supervising the musical portion of all worship services in conjunction with the Board of Elders so that it is at all times in harmony with the doctrine and practice of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Members of the congregation are obligated to accord the Pastor honor, love, and obedience in his ministry of God's Word, and to support his ministrations with diligence and faithful prayers; to help him in the discharge of his duties by cordial one-mindedness, by willing readiness, by peaceable conduct, and in every other way possible; and to provide for his maintenance according to the ability of the congregation.

In calling a pastor to preach the Word of God and to administer the sacraments on their behalf, the members of the congregation exercise their royal priesthood and by no means relinquish it. This is the privilege and responsibility of all members of the Church.

Article 6: Election of Officers and Administrative Boards
Section l. Nomination Procedure

At the July meeting of the Voting Membership, the Parish Planning Council shall announce its selection of qualified Voting Members who, together with the Pastor, shall serve as the Nominating Committee.

The Nominating Committee, as soon after the July meeting as possible, shall prepare a list of candidates drawn from among eligible voting members. This list shall then be made available to communicant members of the congregation at least Three weeks prior to the October meeting. Only male candidates shall be eligible for Membership on the Board of Elders, and for positions of the Chairman of the congregation and Vice Chairman.

Following the publication of the Nominating Committee's list, any communicant member of the congregation may submit to the Committee additional names for inclusion on the list, and such names shall be placed in nomination by the Committee along with the candidates already chosen, provided:

  1. That such names shall be submitted at least 10 days before the date of the October meeting of the Voters' Assembly.
  2. That such individuals whose names have been submitted consent to serve if    
  3. elected.                                                                                  
  4. That the Nominating Committee, through consultation with the Pastor and the Board of Elders find the additional candidates spiritually eligible for the office for which they are nominated. The Nominating Committee, at least one week before the date of the October meeting shall post conspicuously the list of candidates for the following offices: Chairman of the Congregation, Vice Chairman, Treasurer, Financial Recording Secretary, Secretary, Chair of the various Administrative Boards, and Board members as necessary to complete the membership of each of the Administrative Boards.
Section 2. Election Procedure

From the list of candidates for each elective office submitted by the Nominating Committee, the Voting Membership shall, at its October meeting, elect by ballot and simple majority, the following officers in the order herein indicated:

  1. A Chairman of the Congregation
  2. A Vice Chairman
  3. A Treasurer
  4. A Secretary
  5. A Financial Recording Secretary
  6. Eight Chairs specifically nominated for the directorship of one of the following boards: Elders, Missions and Evangelism, Christian Education, Youth Ministry, Stewardship, Church Properties, Parish Fellowship, and Public Relations.
  7. Board Members, to the number required to complete the membership of each of the Administrative Boards. Approximately one half of the boards members are elected, each based on two year terms. The number of members required for each board will be determined by the Parish Planning Council each year.
Section 3. Installation of Officers-Term of Offices

Installation of newly elected officers and Board members of the congregation shall occur between the election and the end of December during worship service. The elected shall assume their duties of office as of January 1. The term of office of all Officers, Chairmen and Board members shall be two years, terminating December 31 of the second year of their terms. All officers, Chairmen and board members may be re-elected indefinitely.

Article 7: Duties of Officers

Functions, powers, organization of Administrative Boards and the Parish Planning Council.

Section 1.  Duties of Officers

A. The Chairman of the congregation shall preside at all meetings of the Voting Membership. He shall, to the best of his ability, enforce this Constitution and By-Laws of the congregation and carry out the expressed will of the congregation as embodied in the resolutions of the Voting Membership. All Boards, committees, auxiliaries, groups, etc., in the congregation shall be responsible to the Chairman of the congregation, and he shall be welcome at any and all meetings of such groups, either in person or as represented by such person or persons as he may appoint. He shall also call and preside over the meetings of the Parish Planning Council and shall endeavor to coordinate the functions, plans, and activities of the congregation in all its parts for the total furtherance of the work of Christ's Kingdom in our midst. 

B. The Chairman of the Congregation shall appoint an Auditing Committee consisting of any two qualified communicant members of the congregation, other than the Treasurer and Financial Secretary, to audit the financial records of the congregation. The Chairman of the Congregation shall submit the Audit Committee's report at the April meeting of the Voting Membership in each year. 

C. The Vice Chairman of the Congregation, in the absence of the Chairman of the    Congregation, shall act for and in the stead of the Chairman of the Congregation. He shall be available for whatever duties the Chairman of the Congregation shall assign to him as his representative.

D. The Treasurer shall:

  1. Be responsible for accurate recording of congregational receipts and disbursements, budgeted and actual expenses according to proper accounting procedures and, as deemed advisable, shall suggest for congregational consideration improved methods and systems for keeping financial records.
  2. Shall present a written financial report with copies for distribution at Voter's meetings and preliminary reports at the Parish Planning Council meetings.
  3. Shall submit permanent financial records for annual audit.
  4. Shall be responsible for monthly remission of offerings for missions and church agencies and for prompt payment of salaries and bills authorized by the congregation or the Boards and Chairmen as duly constituted sources.
  5. Shall ensure timely reports and remittances of Social Security payments as required by law.
  6. Shall prioritize disbursements as directed by the Voters' Assembly July 1983, 
  7. 1) salaries, 2) missions and 3) all other expenses.
  8. Shall receive from the Counting Committee a report of all monies received through worship services, special offerings, or any other source and duly record same.
  9. Shall prepare and authorize transactions for payment of bills, salaries, and other financial commitments of the congregation of any sort.
  10. Shall be available for all Boards a current record of their accrued disbursements and budget allotments.
  11. Shall have the authority to work out with salaried workers of the congregation a breakdown of the worker's total compensation into a salary and fringe benefits as the worker requests, within the budget guidelines. 

E. The Secretary shall be responsible:

  1. Shall be present at all meetings of the Voter's Assembly and the Parish Planning Council.
  2. Shall accurately prepare a permanent record of the proceedings of the above meetings.
  3. Shall be responsible for the preparation and maintenance of the congregational correspondence.
  4. In general, shall perform allied duties as the Voter's Assembly and the Parish Planning Council shall assign. 

F. The Financial Recording Secretary shall be:

  1. Responsible for the accurate recording of all contributions of the members of the congregation.
  2. Issue regular semi-annual statements to the members showing their offerings to date.
  3. Responsible for ordering and issuing offering envelopes to the communicant members.
  4. Responsible for making quarterly reports to the Voters' Assembly as requested.
Section 2. The Parish Planning Council

General duties and powers of the Parish Planning Council: The Parish Planning 

Council shall consist of the Chairman of the Congregation, the Vice Chairman, the Treasurer, the Secretary, the Financial Recording Secretary, the Chairs of the Administrative Boards, and the Pastor of the congregation, all of whom will hold membership on the Parish Planning Council until their term of office expires. It shall be the specific functions of the Parish Planning Council to:

  1. Serve as the point of liaison between the Pastor, the Officers of the congregation, and the various Administrative Boards in planning the total work of the congregation.
  2. Settle jurisdictional dispute between the several Administrative Boards.
  3. Present to the Voters' Assembly at its July meeting a yearly plan of activity for the entire congregation as well as long-range plans for the development and expansion of Christ's work in our midst
  4. Prepare the agenda for the meetings of the Voters' Assembly.
  5. Set the dates and times for all the Voters' Assembly meetings.
  6. Appoint the Nominating Committee as required by Article 6, Section 1 of the By-Laws.
  7. Fill unexpired terms or shortages of personnel by appointment.
Section 3. General duties and powers of Administrative Boards

Each Administrative Board shall submit a written report of its activities at each regular meeting of the Voting Membership, and on such other occasions as the Voting Membership shall require. Such reports shall include specific recommendations (if any) for congregational action and/or approval.

Each Administrative Board shall be empowered to administer all funds set aside for its work by budget appropriation or by special resolution of the Voters' Assembly, however the Voting Membership may, at its discretion restrict such expenditures to conform to the actual financial condition of the congregation at any given time. Each Administrative Board shall jointly and severally be liable for all expenditures not authorized either by the budget or by special resolution of the congregation.

Each Administrative Board shall keep a permanent set of minutes for each meeting, and such minutes shall be the property of the congregation.

Section 4. Organization and Meetings of Administrative Boards

Each Administrative Board shall be under the direct control and supervision of the Chair of that Board. Following the election of the Chair of each Board and the number of Board Members required, the Chair of the respective Boards shall designate and appoint from among the Board members at his/her own discretion those individuals who are to be responsible for various phases of the work of that Board, Such appointments are to be made at or before the first Board Meeting following the election, and notification of such appointments is to be given to the Chairman of the Congregation for publication to the members of the congregation in the manner he deems most advisable.

The time and frequency of Board meetings shall be at the discretion of the Chair and the Board members, except that, for good and sufficient reason, either the Chairman of the Congregation or the Pastor(s) may call a meeting of the Board at any time. Meetings thus called shall be classified as a special meetings, and each person involved shall be notified of the date, time and purpose of such a meeting

Section 5. Trustees

The Chairman of the Congregation, Secretary, and the Treasurer shall be designated to serve as the Trustees for the congregation. They shall sign official documents and contracts that have been negotiated and approved by the congregation.

Section 6. The Board of Elders

Jesus suffered, died and rose again for sinful people and the Board of Elders must be eager and willing to be about this person-to-person ministry. Characteristics of a Good Elder:

  1. He should not be a recent convert, but one who is experienced in the faith.
  2. He should be one who is regular in worship and Holy Communion attendance, and demonstrates his love for God's Word by personal and public Bible study.
  3. He should be a "man of prayer" who demonstrates mature Christian attitudes.
  4. He must be willing to spend as much time as necessary in the supervision of doctrine and life in the parish.
  5. He should be willing to approach others with a positive attitude even in admonition situations.
  6. He must always be loyal to Biblical values and support the congregation and her pastor.
  7. He must understand that he is doing work for Christ.
  8. He must be willing to take training in all areas in which special skills are needed for the performance of his duties.

The following are By-Laws for the Board of Elders:

The nature of the duties of the Board requires that only men noted for their Christian knowledge, zeal and experience in the spiritual work of the Kingdom of Christ shall be elected to membership. The Board shall normally consist of ten (10) members, including the elected Chairman. The basic objectives of this Board are the spiritual welfare of the Pastor(s) and congregation members, individually and corporately, and in the supervision of everything pertaining to congregational worship.

So that the objectives of this Board may be accomplished, the Board, either corporately or through specifically designated individuals shall: 

  1. Pray for the Pastor(s) and other spiritual leaders
  2. Encourage the Pastor(s) in his work by word and action.
  3. Be concerned about the spiritual, emotional and physical health and welfare of the Pastor(s) and his family (adequate compensation, housing, free time, vacation, assistance in times of illness), and to that end specifically review these items once each year.
  4. Assist the Pastor(s) in counseling with difficult cases and in finding peaceful and God-pleasing solutions to personal problems within the congregation.
  5. Review yearly the salary and performance of the Church Office Secretary(ies) and make appropriate budget recommendations to the Voting Membership. In case of vacancy, together with the pastor, interview and employ a replacement.
  6. Exercise leadership in gathering call lists and calling a new pastor when a vacancy occurs.
  7. Maintain discipline within the congregation according to Scripture, the Lutheran Confessions and Article 4 of the Constitution and Article 3 of the By-Laws of this congregation.
  8. Organize and assign the families of the congregation into responsibility lists so that all are provided the service of an elder.
  9. Insure that the congregation functions in accordance with the established doctrine of the Church as listed in Article 2 of the Constitution.
  10. Cooperate with all other Boards to assure that all members are cared for in a loving Christian manner.
  11. Regularly review communion and church attendance, making calls on delinquents, encouraging the use of the educational opportunities of the church and the sacraments.
  12. Visit the sick; hospitalized, and infirmed.
  13. Recognize and investigate cases of severe financial needs within the congregation and make specific recommendations to the Pastor(s) and Board of Stewardship.
  14. Prepare an annual budget request as requested by the Board of Stewardship.

For the worship of the congregation:

  1. Provide for Organists, Music and Choir Directors
  2. Together with the Pastor, provide vicars, assistants, substitute pastors and guest speakers as needed.
  3. Staff, train and supervise the ushering staff.
  4. Assist the Pastor(s) with communion distribution, reading of Scripture and Sermons, etc as needed.
  5. Set time, schedule and number of communion services in conjunction with the Pastor(s) and Voting Membership.
  6. Collaborate with the Pastor(s) regarding new forms of worship, liturgies, and hymns for public worship.
  7. Encourage the Altar Guild in the care, use and maintenance of the sacred vessels, the altar furnishings, and vestments.
  8. Provide worship supplies of communion, wine and wafers, baptismal napkins, candles, communion cards, etc in conjunction with the Altar Guild.
  9. Coordinate with the Music Director, the choral and instrumental music requirements.
  10. Arrange and publicize special services as required.
  11. Include budget provisions for Music and Worship assistants.
Section 7. The Board of Missions and Evangelism

The Board of Missions and Evangelism shall concern itself with the practical application of the Savior' s commission to "Preach the Gospel to every creature" and His instruction to "Be witnesses unto Me." To further this objective it shall:

  1. Develop the mission and evangelism vision and skills of the members of Immanuel.
  2. Submit an annual budget as requested by the Board of Stewardship.
Section 8. The Board of Christian Education

Nominees for this board should be chosen with specific tasks in mind. The specialized nature of the educational task makes that a necessity. Educational policies requires that people of mature judgment and experience be elected. A good Board should consist of a 'mix' of trained people, plus those who show exceptional interest and ability in the area of educational technique and/or philosophy.

The Board of Christian Education shall consist of at least seven (7) members, including the elected Chair of that board.

The basic objectives of this Board are:

  1. To determine educational policies.
  2. To select personnel (both professional and lay) for the various education programs.
  3. To provide the necessary means and facilities for the agencies.
  4. In conjunction with the Pastor to develop, direct and supervise the entire educational program for the entire congregation that seeks to aid spiritual growth. 
  5. The board shall annually submit budget requests to the Board of Stewardship.
Section 9. The Board of Youth Ministry

The basic objectives of this Board are to involve the young people of the congregation in the work of Christ, provide for their spiritual growth and nurture, and to promote genuine Christian fellowship among the young people of the congregation. The board shall annually submit budget requests to the Board of Stewardship.

Section 10. The Board of Stewardship

The basic objectives of this Board are to initiate programs for the development of good stewardship attitudes in the members of the congregation in regard to time, talents, and treasures, to provide for the training and utilization of members of the congregation for the work of Christ's Kingdom, and to ensure the financial stability of the congregation and its work through a development program of dedicated, proportionate, first fruit giving. The board shall annually submit budget requests to the Board of Stewardship.

Section 11. The Board of Church Properties

The basic objectives of this Board are the proper maintenance and repair of the church's property, prioritization of needed repairs, as well as, the general protection against loss or damage, of whatever nature. The board shall annually submit budget requests to the Board of Stewardship.

Section 12. The Board of Parish Fellowship

The Board of Parish Fellowship shall consist of at least five (5) members, including the elected Chairman of the Board.

The Basic objectives of this Board are the strengthening of the fellowship between congregation members spiritually and socially, the integration of new members into the life of the congregation, and the general up building of mutual cooperation, trust, and enjoyment among the members of the congregation.

So that the objectives of this Board may be carried out, the Board, either corporately, or through specifically designated individuals, shall submit an annual budget as requested by the Board of Stewardship.

Section 13. The Board of Public Relations

The basic objectives of this Board are the presentation to the public of the Christian image which will reflect favorably upon the work of the congregation through various channels, and the general integration for the congregation's work into the life of the community. The board shall annually submit budget requests to the Board of Stewardship.

Article 8. Amendments

These By-Laws may be amended at any meeting of the Voting Membership by a simple majority vote, provided:

  1. That a motion to submit for consideration such a proposal to amend has been made at a regular meeting of the Voting Membership.
  2. That the entire Voting Membership has been advised of the nature of the proposed changes and of the date of the meeting at which the proposed amendment is to be acted upon at least 14 days in advance. All amendments to the By-Laws or the Constitution shall be recorded in the official copy of the Constitution and By-Laws in the possession of the current Secretary of the congregation.