The Immanuel Lutheran Church Constitution outlines our Lutheran confession of faith, the nature of the church, our statement of purpose, the powers of the congregation, church affiliation, property ownership, membership, the role of the pastor, a model for congregational meetings, officers, council and committees, discipline, and defines how bylaws, amendments, and continuing resolutions govern our common mission. For the sake of good order and continuity, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America provides a model Constitution for ELCA congregations. Congregations may “customize” the Constitution to serve local needs, but core articles in the ELCA model may not be altered and bylaws and amendments must be approved by the synod.
Reviewing and amending the Constitution is a tedious task. Immanuel, Pflugerville, last did so in 2002. Since that time, numerous amendments have been made to the ELCA model that need also to be included in our constitution. The previous and present ILC Church Councils have discussed additional changes. According to the Constitution, here’s a synopsis of how the process works.
- The Council must submit proposed amendments to the congregation in writing at least 30 days in advance of a specially called congregation meeting to consider the changes.
- Amendments must be approved by a majority vote of those present and voting at that meeting;
- be ratified without change at the next annual meeting by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting;
- and then be approved by the synod, at which time the amendments go into effect.
The ILC Council hopes to approve a draft of the Constitution with proposed amendments this summer and to make it available to the congregation along with a document highlighting the proposed changes for ease of review. The hope is to schedule a special congregational meeting in the fall for approval, with ratification at the annual meeting in January. Please include this process and our Council members in your prayers, and when the draft becomes available and the meetings are scheduled, please participate!
May God bless Immanuel, Pflugerville, as we gather, grow, and serve.