Grace Bylaws
Community of Grace Lutheran Church
Bylaws

(Adopted March, 2005)

A1. Statement of Purpose
A1.01. This Corporation is not organized, nor shall it be operated for pecuniary gain or profit, and it does not contemplate distribution of gains, profits or dividends to the members thereof and is organized solely for non-profit purposes. The property, assets, profits and net income of this Corporation are irrevocably dedicated to charitable and religious purposes and no part of the profits or net income of this corporation shall ever inure to the benefit of a director, officer, or member thereof or to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. Upon the dissolution or winding up of this corporation, its assets remaining after payment of, or provision for payment of, all debts and liabilities of the corporation, shall be distributed to a non-profit fund, foundation, or corporation, which is organized and operated exclusively for charitable and religious purposes and which has established its tax exempt status under the Code of the State of Arizona, and/or Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. If this corporation holds any assets in trust, such assets shall be disposed of in such a manner as may be directed by decree of the superior court of the county in which this corporation’s principal office is located, upon petition therefore by the Attorney General or by any person concerned in the liquidation.

B1. Organizational Structure
B1.01 Community of Grace Lutheran Church (“Community of Grace”) shall be a staff-managed, board-led, and congregationally-empowered organization. The staff shall be empowered to manage Community of Grace within an organizational framework developed by the staff and approved by the Board of Directors. The Congregation shall elect members to the Board of Directors and hold them accountable in performance of their duties as defined in Chapter 12 of the Constitution and Chapter I1 of these Bylaws.

C1. Mission Statement

C1.01 The mission statement of Community of Grace shall be:

In response to God’s Grace in Jesus, we love the Lord our God with our heart, soul, mind and strength, and love our neighbors as ourselves.


D1. Powers of the Congregation

D1.01 Contract Value Requiring Board of Directors Approval
No individual or group affiliated with the Community of Grace shall enter into a contract with a value of greater than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00) without a resolution adopted by not less than a majority vote of the of the Community of Grace Board of Directors present at a legally called and conducted meeting of the Board.

D1.02 Contract Value Requiring Congregation Approval
No individual or group affiliated with the Community of Grace shall enter into a contract with a value of greater than one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) without a resolution adopted by not less than a majority ballot vote of the voting members present at a legally called and conducted meeting of this congregation.

D1.03 Indebtedness
The highest amount of indebtedness or liability to which this congregation shall at any time subject itself to shall be twenty million dollars ($20,000,000.00) without a resolution adopted by not less than a majority ballot vote of the voting members present at a legally called and conducted meeting of this congregation.

D1.04 Property Ownership
Real property of value greater than five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000.00) shall not be purchased, disposed, or encumbered in any manner except by resolution adopted by not less than a majority ballot vote of the voting members present at a legally called and conducted meeting of this congregation.

E1. Membership

E1.01 Privileges and Duties Regarding Holy Communion

A. It shall be made known to prospective participants that the belief of this congregation is:
1. Participation in the Lord’s Supper is the “reception of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ given with bread and wine, instituted by Christ Himself for us to eat and drink.”
2. We hold that a person is well prepared and worthy who believes these words, “given and shed for you for the remissions of sins.” But anyone who does not believe these words, or doubts these words, is neither prepared nor worthy, for the words “for you” require simply a believing heart. (From the Small Catechism I Contemporary English, 1968, Augsburg Publishing House and Fortress Press.)

B. Community of Grace sets no age limit for the receiving of communion. Parents shall be responsible for determining when their children are ready for communion.


E1.02 Privileges and Duties Regarding Membership

A. Members who move and are no longer able to participate in this congregation shall be encouraged to transfer their membership. A confirmed member in good standing desiring to change membership to another Church shall receive a letter of Transfer when so requested.

B. A confirmed member who, within the preceding year shows no interest in attending church services, who does not partake of Holy Communion, and who has made no contribution of record to this congregations may be removed from the voting membership of this church. They shall remain within the continuing concern of this congregation and shall be given conscientious pastoral care. If they resume activity within one year from being removed from the voting membership, they may be reinstated as voting members. If they fail to meet the above criteria, they may be dismissed from the congregation and be notified of the dismissal.

C. All members, baptized, confirmed, voting, or associate, who have resigned, transferred to another congregation, or have been dismissed shall be considered as having terminated membership of this congregation.

F1. The Pastor
F1.01 The Board of Directors shall designate one pastor to be the Senior Pastor.

A. Duties of the Senior Pastor
1. The Senior Pastor shall offer spiritual guidance and leadership training to equip the Board of Directors members and advisory boards.
2. The Senior Pastor is the senior staff employee of the congregation and shall have supervisory authority over other staff personnel. Specific duties may be described in the continuing resolutions of the Board of Directors.
3. The Senior Pastor shall work closely with each member of the Board of Directors in assisting and providing guidance and direction in the proper performance of their duties.
4. The Senior Pastor shall hold himself available for consultation with all organizations and individuals within the congregation.
5. The Senior Pastor shall be familiar with the Constitution, its Bylaws, and Continuing Resolutions of the Board of Directors.
6. The Senior Pastor shall be the convener of the Nominating Committee.
7. The Senior Pastor shall seek out and encourage qualified persons for positions on the Board of Directors or other boards and organizations.
8. The Senior Pastor shall supervise, direct, and develop other pastoral staff members and seminary students.


G1. Records
G1.01 The Senior Pastor shall be responsible for ensuring that accurate records of the membership and of ministerial acts are kept. He shall report these statistics annually to the congregation and when required, to the Secretary of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Upon leaving the congregation, he shall complete the records of this ministry up to the time of his departure. These records shall be and shall remain the property of this congregation. Should this congregation be dissolved, these records shall be deposited in the archives of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

H1. Congregational Meetings
H1.01 Two annual congregation meetings shall be held; the first one shall be held within 12 weeks after the end of the fiscal year in order to present the end of the year reports. The second congregation meeting shall be held not less than 4 weeks prior to the start of the fiscal year to present the annual budget and to elect members to the Board of Directors. Announcement of the time and place shall be made at no less than two public services immediately preceding the meeting, said services to be at least one week apart, and in such publication as the pastor of the congregation may periodically issue or by written notice to the voting members mailed or emailed not less than ten days prior to the meeting. In the case of email, such notice will clearly state “Special Congregational Meeting” in the subject line and be sent to the address last indicated as valid by the voting member.

I1. Duties of Officers

I1.01. Duties of the President
1. The President shall preside over congregation meetings and he shall also preside over Executive Committee and Board of Directors meetings.
2. The President shall sign all forms, documents, and official papers requiring signature by the congregation.
3. The President shall be available for consultation with staff and congregational members.
4. The President shall work closely with the pastoral staff.
5. The President shall ensure that each member of the Board of Directors and the various boards are aware of their duties and responsibilities.

I1.02. Duties of the Vice-President
1. The Vice-President shall perform all duties of the President in the President’s absence and, in case of extended disability or expulsion of the President, shall succeed the President in office for the remainder of the term.
2. The Vice-President shall be available for consultation with all boards, committees, organizations, and individuals.
3. The Vice-President shall sign all forms, documents, and official papers requiring signature by the Vice-President.

I1.03. Duties of the Secretary
1. The Secretary shall ensure the keeping of accurate minutes of each meeting of the congregation, the Board of Directors, and the Executive Committee.
2. The Secretary shall distribute copies of the minutes of the meetings to each member of the respective body as well as to the staff and any congregation member who requests a copy.
3. The Secretary shall call the attention of the chair to any business of a previous meeting that has been tabled for later action.
4. The Secretary shall sign all forms, documents, and official papers requiring signature by the Congregation Secretary.

I1.04 Duties of the Treasurer
1. The Treasurer shall ensure the keeping of accurate financial records and ensure that the Board of Directors is provided the necessary financial reports to fulfill their responsibilities as defined in Section 12.06 of the Constitution.
2. The Treasurer shall sign all forms, documents, and official papers requiring signature by the Congregation Treasurer.

J1. Number of Members of the Board of Directors
J1.01 The Board of Directors shall consist of the Senior Pastor or another pastor designated by the Senior Pastor, the officers, and three additional representatives of the congregation.

K1. Non-Voting Members of the Board of Directors
K1.01 Non-Voting members of the Board of Directors shall include all other called pastors of this congregation and the General Manager of Community of Grace.

L1. Duties of a Board Member

1. Board members shall serve as the trustees of the mission and vision of Community of Grace. Decisions and policies created by the Board must keep the mission and vision foremost in priority.
2. The Board of Directors shall assign board members duties as determined necessary and proper.
3. Board members shall be familiar with the Constitution, its Bylaws and any Continuing Resolutions.
4. Board members shall be available for consultation with staff and congregational members.

M1. Nominating Committee

M1.01 Duties of the Nominating Committee
1. The Nominating Committee shall consist of the Senior Pastor and three voting members of this congregation. The Board of Directors shall elect the three members once annually at the first regularly scheduled board meeting immediately following the congregation meeting at which elections were held.
2. The Nominating Committee’s term shall expire after the election of board members.
3. The Nominating Committee shall nominate candidates for the offices to be filled and shall secure the consent of each candidate.
4. The Nominating Committee may request nomination of candidates from the Board of Directors, staff, or congregation in advance of the congregation meeting at which elections are held.
5. Nominations from the floor at the congregation meeting are not permitted.
6. The Nominating Committee shall ensure a diverse board by looking for candidates who have experience in a variety of areas, including but not limited to business, legal, financial, leadership, education, and human resources.
7. When seeking and evaluating prospective candidates the Nominating Committee shall assess the current Board of Directors background and gifts, as well as the number of replacements needed to determine what qualities and experiences will best serve the Board of Directors and this congregation.
8. The Nominating Committee shall evaluate each potential candidate based on the candidate’s adherence to the five faith values as defined in section 12.02 of the Constitution.
9. The Nominating Committee shall present a list of candidates to the Board of Directors at the Board of Directors meeting one month prior to the congregational meeting at which elections are held. This list will include all candidates considered, and will also include the Nominating Committee’s recommendations in order of priority.
10. Candidates selected by the Nominating Committee shall be made known to the congregation with the announcement to the congregation concerning the forthcoming election as defined in section H1.01 of these Bylaws.

N1. Organizations Within the Congregation

N1.01 All employees of any organization within the congregation as defined in Chapter 14 of the Constitution are employees of the Community of Grace. Upon approval of the Community of Grace Board of Directors, the organization may establish personnel policies for the organization that differ from the Community of Grace Employee Guide.

N1.02 Organizations that formally establish policies and procedures for financial responsibility shall submit such policies and procedures to the Community of Grace Board of Directors for approval. Upon approval by the Board of Directors, the organization may establish accounts independent from the Community of Grace.