The Trinity Evangelical Congregational Church
Manheim, PA 17545
Name, Purpose, and Membership
Section 1. The name of the corporation, duly organized under the general laws of Pennsylvania, is the Trinity Evangelical Congregational Church of the Borough of Manheim, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
Section 2. This corporation is formed for the purpose of providing the members with the preaching of Gods word, the administration of the sacraments, and the exercise of Christian Discipline in accordance with the teaching of the Holy Scriptures, and to adopt and prosecute such measures as shall be in harmony with the spirit, teachings, and customs of the Evangelical Congregational Church and shall tend to promote the general interests of Christs Kingdom.
Section 3. The membership of the corporation consists of the persons whose names are found on its membership record as controlled by the corporation. A member is in good standing if he/she attends the worship services in the Evangelical Congregational Church, participates in the Holy Communion services, supports the Church financially as God prospers him/her and is not under charges of immoral conduct.
Section 1. The regular congregational meeting of the Church shall be held on the evening of the 3rd Sunday of January. In the event this date should seem inadvisable, the Official Board may by action set a date more agreeable.
Section 2. Special congregational meetings may be called by the Official Board, the Board of Trustees, or upon written request to either board by fifteen voting members in good standing, specifying the purpose of such meeting.
Section 3. All congregational meetings, regular and special, shall be announced at the public services on two successive Sundays preceding such meetings.
Section 4. Congregational meetings to consider dissolving or changing the ecclesiastical connections or relations of the congregation shall be called in accordance with the provisions in the discipline of the Evangelical Congregational Church. All voting on these questions shall be by ballot.
Section 5. At the annual congregational meetings, reports of the Pastor, the Treasure, and the various boards and committees of the Church shall be reported and reviewed for the calendar year.
Section 6. The pastor shall preside at all regular and special meetings of the congregation. In the pastors absence, or inability to preside, the President of the Official Board shall preside. In the event that neither can serve, a chairperson will be elected from the members present.
Section 7. The secretary of the Official Board shall serve as secretary at all regular and special congregational meetings.
Section 8. All members, 16 years of age or over, in good standing, are entitled to vote, excepting in the election of trustees, which is otherwise provided for in the Church discipline.
Section 9. Election for trustees shall be by ballot. A majority of votes cast shall always be considered necessary for election.
Section 10. The chairperson shall appoint two tellers to count the trustee election ballots.
Section 11. If there is no election on the second ballot, then the two persons having received the highest number of votes shall be the nominees for further balloting.
Section 12. Ten percent of the voting members, in good standing in the congregation, shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
Section 13. The following shall constitute the order of business:
1. Devotional exercises
2. Reading of the minutes
3. Receipt of communications
4. Report of special committees
5. Report of the pastor
6. Report of the treasurer
7. Report of the boards
A. Official Board
B. Trustee Board
C. Steward Board
8. Reports of all church organizations
9. Election of Trustees
10. Other elections
11. Unfinished business
12. New business
13. Reading of minutes for adoption
Section 1. The temporal and spiritual affairs of the congregation other than those assigned to the board of Trustees by the charter, shall be transacted by the Official Board. It shall be understood that the Official Board may not usurp the powers of the local conference, the highest judicial body of the congregation.
Section 2. It shall be the responsibility of each officer of the corporation, elected or appointed, to be faithful in the performance of his/her individual duties, to attend the official meetings of any body which he/she may be a member, to be faithful to the work of the church in general, to attend faithfully to all the means of grace as provided by the services of the church.
Section 3. In order to simplify the business matters of the church, an official board is organized to efficiently represent its members in making decisions. The board shall be known as the Official Board of the Trinity Evangelical Congregational Church of Manheim, Pennsylvania.
The Official Board
Section 1. The Official Board shall consist of the Pastor, Trustees, Stewards, Chairperson of the Education Committee or designated representative, Chairperson of the Missions Committee, Youth Ministry Representative, Lay Delegate, and Church Treasurer. The congregation shall have the right to elect as many as two members of the congregation to the Official Board as members at large.
Section 2. The board shall meet for organization at the next official board meeting following the congregational meeting. The vote for officers shall be by ballot, a majority of the votes being necessary to elect. The Pastor shall conduct the organization of the board.
Section 3. The officers of the board shall be a President, Vice-President, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, and Financial Secretary. The Official Board shall elect annually the President, Vice-President, and Recording Secretary from among its members. A treasurer shall be elected from among its members or the congregation. The Financial Secretary shall be chosen by the Steward Board with approval from the official board.
Section 4. The board shall hold its regular meetings on the 2nd Monday of each month. Special meetings may be called by the President of the board or at the request of three members of the board specifying the purpose of such meeting.
Section 5. If the Official Board meeting can not be held at the regular time, a postponement of the meeting to another date, or hour, may be set by the action of the board, or in the event of an emergency by the President and the Secretary, or by the Pastor.
Section 6. A majority of the members of this board shall constitute a quorum to transact business.
Section 7. The following shall be the order of business at the regular meeting of the board:
1. Devotions-Opening Prayer
2. Reading of the minutes
3. Treasurers report
5. Pastors report
6. Standing committee reports
7. Youth report
8. Steward Board report
9. Trustee Board report
10. Sunday School report
11. Missionary report
12. Pastoral Relations Committee report
13. Unfinished business
14. New business
Section 8. Duties of the President. It shall be the duty of the president to preside at all the meetings of the board and to conduct/delegate the devotions. He/she shall not be entitled to vote except on the election of officers and when the members are equally divided he shall cast the deciding vote. It shall be the
duty of the president to see that all the activities concerning the board are carried out.
Section 9. The President shall appoint all committees herein specified or any other committee requested in
consultation with the Pastor.
Section 10. Duties of the Vice-President. In the absence or disability of the President, the Vice-President shall perform the duties pertaining to that office.
Section 11. Duties of the Recording Secretary. It shall be the duty of the recording secretary to keep a correct record of the minutes and proceedings of the board.
Section 12. The recording secretary shall have charge of all records relative to this board and after their term expires, shall hand over to the successor all such records.
Section 13. Duties of the Treasurer. The treasurer shall receive from the Steward Board a record of all money received and deposited in the bank in the name of the corporation. The treasurer shall pay all bills authorized by the official board. All bills to be paid by check only. The treasurer shall keep full and accurate records of all receipts and expenditures.
Section 14. At the end of the fiscal year the treasurer shall prepare a statement of receipts and expenditures to be read at the annual congregational meeting.
Section 15. Duties of the Assistant Treasurer. The assistant treasurer is authorized to assist the treasure in administering the funds of the church.
Section 16. At the end of the treasurers term all records, documents, and money of the church shall be delivered to the successor.
Section 17. Persons addressing the Board. Anyone desiring to address the Official Board must submit their agenda to the pastor for approval one week prior to the board meeting.
Duties of the Board
Section 1. The board is empowered to inaugurate new work for the congregation. In no case shall an expenditure exceeding six thousand dollars ($ 6,000.00) be made for any single project without the consent of the congregation. Reports of the inauguration of the new work shall be made to the congregation in the regular or special meeting.
Section 2. It shall be the duty of the board to elect auditors as set forth in Article X, sections 1 - 3.
Section 3. The officers of the various organizations represented on the official board shall submit monthly
reports of the work accomplished by their organizations.
Section 4. The official board has the final decision in determining what functions are permissible in the church.
Section 5. All requests for use of the church building shall be submitted to the official board for consideration.
Section 6. For the convenience and assistance of its officers, the official board shall provide postage and other incidentals that may be needed in the performance of their duties.
Section 1. The Local Conference is the highest judicial legislative branch of the Trinity E. C. Church. This conference is held after the last Official Board meeting in December and is chaired by the pastor.
Section 2. All members of the Official Board are members of the Local Conference. In addition, retired pastors, who are still members of the Manheim Trinity E.C. Church, may also attend and vote.
Section 3. The primary purpose of the Local Conference is to determine the pastors salary and to elect a lay delegate for the National Conference.
Official Board Committees
Section 1. The Pastoral Relations Committee. The pastoral relations committee shall meet a minium of four (4) times and be composed of the presidents of each board, the Lay delegate, the Chairperson of the Christian Education Committee, and two members at large. This committee shall handle all matters pertaining to relationships between the pastor and the congregation.
Section 2. The Budget Committee. The budget committee shall meet one (1) time and be composed of the Pastor, the church treasurer, and members of the Official Board. This committee shall plan and present to the Official Board at its regular November meeting, a detailed maximum budget of necessary expenditures for the coming fiscal year.
Section 3. The Worship/Music Committee. The worship/music committee shall meet a minium of four (4) times and be composed of the Pastor, the organist, a representative from the Worship Team, and two members chosen from the congregation by the pastor and approved by the Official Board. The function of this committee is determine all matters relating to the musical activities of the church services. In the case of music for special days they shall recommend any remuneration involved to the board for approval.
The Worship/Music Committee shall evaluate the performance of the organist and choir director and make a recommendation to the Budget Committee for the salary and compensation.
Section 4. The Finance Committee. The finance committee meets as needed and is composed of the Pastor, the treasurer, and two members from the congregation appointed by the pastor and approved by the Official Board. This committee shall be responsible for devising plans and methods for raising funds for regular and special projects proposed by the Official Board.
Section 5. The Benevolence Committee. The benevolence committee shall meet a minium of four (4) times and be composed of the Pastor, the Treasurer of the Brotherhood fund, a helping hands representative, and two members at large. The purpose of this committee is to look after the needy and distressed of the congregation, and provide by means to be approved by the board, the funds needed to give the proper relief and comfort. The committee shall keep the congregation informed of worthy community interests which may benefit our members.
Section 6. The Decorating Committee. The decorating committee shall meet a minium of four (4) times and be composed of the Pastor and three members at large. The purpose of this committee is to make arrangements for the decoration of our church for special events, i.e. Easter, Christmas, etc.
Section 7. The Ushers Committee. The ushers committee will meet two (2) times and is composed of a chief usher and enough assistants to perform their weekly duties.
Section 8. The Missions Committee. The missions committee shall meet a minium of four (4) times and be composed of the Pastor, the Chairperson of the Missions Committee, and the Treasurer of the Missions Committee. The committee is responsible for recommending to the Official Board financial aid to various missionary associations.
Section 9. Christian Education Committee. The Christian Education Committee shall meet bimonthly and would oversee the Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Wednesday Youth and Children ministry, and any other educational function the board designates. The chairperson of this committee is appointed by the pastor with approval from the official board and shall serve until retirement or replaced by the official board..
Section 10. Each of the above committees shall consist of not less than three members nor more than seven unless otherwise provided for in the by-laws or Discipline.
Section 11. Members of the standing committees shall serve for a period of one year and shall submit reports of their work at each regular meeting of the board. The pastor and the president of the board shall be ex-officio members of all standing committees.
Section 12. All standing committees shall continue to serve until their successors have been appointed. In the case of any vacancy on any committee, the chairperson shall fill such vacancy unless otherwise provided in the discipline or by-laws.
Section 13. Any special committee of the board shall have its chairperson and its majority of members made up from members of the board.
Section 14. All standing committees with spending budgets shall submit their projected budgets to the Budget Committee by the first of October.
The Board of Trustees
Section 1. The board of trustees shall consist of six elected members. Trustee requirements are membership in the congregation in good standing for one year and twenty-one years of age or over. Members to the trustees board may be present or absent at the time of the election.
Section 2. The election of trustees shall be held at the annual congregational meeting. The election shall be for a term of three years, no trustee to succeed themselves after three consecutive terms of office, nor shall they be eligible for the office of trustee for a period of one year. Should a period of time elapse between the expiration of the term of trustee the same shall serve until a successor has been duly elected.
Section 3. Vacancies occurring on the board of trustees shall be filled before the next regular congregational meeting in the following manner - at a meeting of the official board, the trustees present shall cast a ballot to fill the vacancy. If no unanimous decision can be reached, the trustees shall submit their nominees to the official board for election. A majority of votes cast is necessary for election.
Section 4. Within a month after the close of the congregational meeting the trustees shall meet and organize by the election of a president, a vice-president, a secretary, and a treasurer. The pastor shall conduct the re-organization unless incapacitated.
Section 5. It shall be the duty of the president to call and preside at all meetings of the trustee board except
as provided in section 4.
Section 6. It shall be the duty of the vice-president to assist and advise the president in the discharge of the duties and in the presidents absence presides and performs the duties appertaining to the office.
Section 7. The secretary shall keep in permanent form a full and accurate record of the proceeding of each meeting.
Section 8. The church office shall be the custodian of all legal documents belonging to the church.
Section 9. The board of trustees shall hold their meetings at their own discretion, or on the suggestion of the pastor. Special meetings may be called by the president or by the pastor.
Section 10. In the maintenance of the property of the congregation, the trustees shall not purchase or sell real estate or incur any other liability in excess of five hundred dollars ( $ 500.00 ) or in excess of fifteen hundred dollars ( $ 1,500.00 ) for emergency maintenance.
Section 11. The board of trustees shall have charge of all the maintenance of the corporations property, and shall be careful to recommend to the official board any necessary expenditures to the property in their care, including the removal of furniture and other property belonging to the corporation.
Section 12. The Board of Trustees shall evaluate the performance of the church custodian and make a recommendation to the official board concerning his/her salary and compensation.
The Steward Board
Section 1. The steward board shall consist of six members elected in harmony with the provisions of the church discipline. The board may operate with as few as three members. They shall be members of the Official Board. Their duties shall be as stated in the discipline and in accordance with the provisions of these by-laws.
Section 2. Associate Stewards may be nominated by the Steward Board and approved by the Official Board. They will be elected following the re-organization of the Steward Board to a two year term. Their responsibilities will mainly be in assisting the stewards in counting the Sunday Service offerings. Associate stewards are not members of the Official Board and have no voting rights on the Steward Board.
Section 3. In addition to the duties set forth in the discipline the stewards with the pastor shall have charge of all church services, including making arrangements for suitable receptions and farewells at changes in Pastorates.
Section 4. The stewards are to serve as a committee to recommend the remuneration for substitute ministerial supply, and for visiting speakers for special occasions.
Section 5. The board of stewards shall organize within 35 days after the conference, electing from themselves a president, a vice-president, and a recording secretary. The steward board shall recommend the name of a financial secretary to the official board for approval. This person shall serve until the person elected retires or until the official board replaces the person.
Section 6. The stewards to be elected must have been a member in good standing for at least one year and be twenty-one years of age or older. Their term of office is for three years, no steward to succeed themselves after two consecutive terms of office.
Section 7. The board of stewards in connection with the pastor and the financial secretary shall give special
attention to those members of the corporation who neglect to give financial support to the corporation, first, by tactfully seeking to induce them to become regular contributors and second, in case such an effort fails, to report such persons to the official board for further action.
Section 8. It shall be the duty of the president to call and preside at all meetings of the board.
Section 9. It shall be the duty of the vice-president to assist and advise the president in the discharge of the presidents duties and to perform the same in the presidents absence.
Section 10. The financial secretary of the board of stewards shall keep an accurate record of all money
received by the church. At the conclusion of the fiscal year the financial secretary will distribute an individual financial report to all contributors.
Section 11. The duties of the recording secretary of the board of stewards is to make an accurate record of all the business transacted at the steward board.
Section 12. The stewards shall elect from among their membership or the congregation, one who shall be known as the communion steward, whose duty it shall be to provide the bread and the wine (unfermented) for the Holy Communion.
Section 13. The board of stewards shall be accountable to the local conference for the performance of its disciplinary claims.
Christian Education Committee
Section 1 - Establishment
The Christian Education Committee of the Trinity E.C. Church is organized to govern all aspects of the biblical, moral, and religious instruction of the church.
Section 2 - Organization
The committee is comprised of the pastor, the chairperson of the Christian Education Committee, the Superintendent of the Sunday School, the Vacation Bible School Director, the Wednesday Night Youth and Children Ministry Director, and any other educational leaders the Official Board designates.
Section 3 - Sunday School
1. The Sunday School meets weekly at a suitable hour on the Lords Day.
2. The officers of the school shall be a general superintendent, assistant superintendent, secretary, and treasurer, all of whom must be members of the Trinity E.C. Church. These officers are appointed by the pastor with approval of the official board, must be ixteen years of age or over, and serve until they retire or are replaced by the official baord.
3. Teacher Appointments - The pastor and the general superintendent, serving as a committee, shall recommend to the Sunday School Board the teachers for the classes.
4. Duties of the General Superintendent -
A. To have immediate charge of the exercises and interests of the school;
B. To attend the Local Conference, to give a report of the condition of the school, and to present a statistical report of the school to the conference.
C. To consult frequently with the pastor in reference to the interests of the school.
D. To admonish in love, officers and teachers who may neglect their duties and, in case there is no improvement and with consultation with the pastor, to report them to the Sunday School Board.
E. To prepare a budget for the foreseeable expenses of the Sunday School and present it to the budget committee.
5. Pastors Relationship - It shall be the duty of the pastor to organize and maintain a teacher training class whenever possible, so as to prepare the teachers and prospective teachers for more efficient teaching.
Section 4 - Vacation Bible School
Section 5 - Wednesday Night Youth and Childrens Ministry
Section 6 - Missionary Organizations
The Board of Auditors
Section 1. The board of auditors shall consist of two members, who must be members of the corporation for at least one year, in good standing, and eighteen (18) years of age or over.
Section 2. An election of one auditor shall be held each year at the time of the regular election of the official board. Said election shall be for a term of three years. Term to begin with the audit of the records of the year in which the auditor is elected.
Section 3. Vacancies in the board of auditors shall be filled by the Official Board.
Small Group Ministries
Section 1. It is the purpose of the Trinity E.C. Church to promote, support, and regulate all small group ministries for the glory and honor of God.
Section 2. The meetings shall be led by a leader appointed by the Pastor and approved by the Official Board.
Section 3. The activity groups may include a prayer group, a home Bible study group, a lunch group, a breakfast group, a Table Tennis group, a bowling group, or any other group recognized by the Official Board.
Section 1. Any person is eligible for membership when the qualifications for church membership stated in the Discipline of the Evangelical Congregational Church can be met. However, no one shall be admitted to membership in the church unless his/her name has been submitted to the Official Board at least one week prior to his/her admission into membership and approved by the board in
regular or special session.
Section 2. The service of reception for all members shall follow the order as found in the church discipline.
Section 3. Removal because of withdrawal shall be made only upon the written request of a member. However, a member may be removed from the active membership roll for failing to attend public services, commune and contribute to the support of the local congregation for a period in excess
of two years. If the member shows no desire to continue their membership after an effort to
reactivate such either by personal visitation or registered or certified mail following a sixty days grace period, the desire to withdraw from active membership shall be presumed.
Section 4. Letters of transfer of membership shall be granted to those entitled to them upon request, but only after the Pastor has reported such request to the Official Board and proper consideration
given and action taken by the board.
Section 5. At least one month prior to the annual conference the Official Board shall meet in regular or special session to determine which names shall constitute the records of active church membership. The board should receive a recommendation from the Steward Board.
Section 6. A copy of these by-laws, along with an abridged copy of our church discipline shall be given to each person uniting with the church.
Section 1. The Worship Service shall be conducted according to and in harmony with the discipline of the Evangelical Congregational Church, as long as this congregation is in connection with said denomination. The pastor shall have charge of the worship service. He is permitted to request a special offering for general church work as the national conference may direct, and at such a time as the Official Board may determine, with due consideration of the time suggested by the national conference.
Section 2. Should the Pastor wish to engage a substitute speaker, permission must be secured from the Official Board, except in the case of illness or other disability.
Section 3. No one shall be permitted to have the use of the church or occupy its pulpit, except the Pastor regularly appointed by the annual conference and the District Superintendent appointed by the annual conference, without the consent of the Official Board given in regular or special sessions assembled. This shall not apply to ministers of our denomination in so far as the simple preaching of the gospel is concerned.
Section 1. It shall be the duty of every member of the congregation to systematically contribute, as God has prospered them, toward the local and general benevolence of the congregation and conferences, including the salaries of the pastor, custodian, secretary, treasurer, organist, choir director, conference benevolence, and all other legitimate expenses pertaining to the maintenance of the congregation and its property. This shall also apply to the erection of necessary church buildings and canceling of any encumbrances that may remain there on. These contributions are to be made in the manner and according to the methods adopted by the Official Board.
Section 2. Any member who willfully neglects or refuses to comply with these requirements shall be subject to the provisions of the discipline for neglect of duty. Such persons shall be considered members not in good standing.
Section 1. The congregation may be supplied with song books so that all may participate in the songs of worship.
Section 2. The organist and choir director may be employed by the Official Board with a recommendation of the music committee.
Section 1. The church buildings are to be used only for distinctly religious purposes which bring praise to God and spiritual uplift and edification to believers. Any groups or individuals desiring to use the church buildings for a specific purpose should request prior approval from the Official Board.
Section 2. All persons distributing information, including notices, letters, newsletters, booklets, etc., to members of the Trinity E. C. Church, using the churchs facilities, must have prior approval from the pastor. Controversial items must be approved by the Official Board.
Donations & Purchases
Section 1. No class or organization of Trinity Evangelical Congregational Church and Sunday School is to purchase or donate any article for the church unless it is approved by the Official Board.
Rules of Order
Section 1. In the event that during any congregational, trustee or Official Board business meeting, there should arise points of order not stated in these by-laws or the church discipline, Roberts Rules of Order shall serve as authority.
Alterations & Amendments
Section 1. Any alterations or amendments to these by-laws, not inconsistent with the charter can be adopted by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the qualified adult members present at any duly called congregational meeting. All proposed amendments shall first be presented in writing to the Official Board before they may be considered at the congregational meeting.
Rev. Jeffrey C. Schell