At the January 30 Annual Meeting, we will vote on updates to our Constitution. The Council approved the updates at the December meeting, and it has been reviewed and approved, from a legal perspective, by the Synod. The proposed version of the Constitution is available online. Paper copies are available at the church as well.
The updates to the Constitution are primarily to bring it into conformance with the 2019 Model Constitution. There are a lot of changes that may look like semantics – these are all due to the Model Constitution. There are a few changes to the bylaws, which are the italicized paragraphs under Constitutional requirements. While we don’t have much leeway to change language in the Constitution, we do have some ability to update the bylaws as long as they do not conflict with the Constitution. The Council did approve some changes to committees, so they reflect our current practices.
There is one substantive change to our bylaws that will be presented as a stand-alone motion at the annual meeting. This is a proposed change to the number of candidates for each elected position. Our current bylaws require two candidates for each elected position (if possible). Our congregation is in the minority with this practice, as most congregations present a slate of candidates.
There will be a session on January 2 during the learning hour that will focus solely on the updates to the Constitution. We invite everyone to attend this session to discuss pros and cons of changing the way we present candidates for election.
The Council also invites you to prayerfully read and reflect on the provisions in the Constitution. The Council is obligated to ensure the provisions of the Constitution are upheld and we are carefully considering if there are changes in practice that necessary. It is helpful if everyone in the congregation understands and is engaged with one of our important guiding documents.
May this season of light and God’s love made incarnate touch each and every one of you. May you each shine this light into the world for the glory of God.
At First Lutheran, we are a community of disciples of Jesus Christ working for the transformation of the world. Throughout our history, we have remained committed to drawing on our Lutheran (ELCA) tradition of using meaningful worship, content-rich learning and warm hospitality to care well for our congregation, the surrounding community and the world.