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6 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2008 - 6:18PM #1
dearwatson
Posts: 168
I am on a little work group tasked with updating my congregation's constitution.

How many of you have done this in the past? I forsee some issues b/c last time we did this a decade ago in a big way the assistants to the bishop gave us a hard time over rather trival matters involving our financial cycle and plurals and singulars.  Since they will be getting a chance to review what we do, I'm hoping to not be the person doing the presentation.

Still, I want to make a good faith effort. What have your experiences been and what advice could you give?
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6 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2008 - 7:35PM #2
mkeoffaith
Posts: 17
We are going through the process now.  Actually, we have been rather lucky.  We stuck pretty much with the model constitution and any refinement is in our bylaws and continuing resolutions. As far as financial cycle, I'm assuming your talking about your fiscal year.  I'm sure the synod would love everyone to be on a calendar year, but I don't think they really have that much say. So far the synod has only come back to us on a couple things on our bylaws.  It was more painful dealing with the committee and members of the congregation. We should be all finished this June at our next congregational meeting.

Good luck with it.  If you have any questions feel free to ask.
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6 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2008 - 6:18PM #3
dearwatson
Posts: 168
I am on a little work group tasked with updating my congregation's constitution.

How many of you have done this in the past? I forsee some issues b/c last time we did this a decade ago in a big way the assistants to the bishop gave us a hard time over rather trival matters involving our financial cycle and plurals and singulars.  Since they will be getting a chance to review what we do, I'm hoping to not be the person doing the presentation.

Still, I want to make a good faith effort. What have your experiences been and what advice could you give?
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6 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2008 - 7:35PM #4
mkeoffaith
Posts: 17
We are going through the process now.  Actually, we have been rather lucky.  We stuck pretty much with the model constitution and any refinement is in our bylaws and continuing resolutions. As far as financial cycle, I'm assuming your talking about your fiscal year.  I'm sure the synod would love everyone to be on a calendar year, but I don't think they really have that much say. So far the synod has only come back to us on a couple things on our bylaws.  It was more painful dealing with the committee and members of the congregation. We should be all finished this June at our next congregational meeting.

Good luck with it.  If you have any questions feel free to ask.
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6 years ago  ::  Mar 29, 2008 - 12:20PM #5
DonTheNorski
Posts: 193
Uff-da!  We're revising our Personnel Manual, and I thought THAT was a job!  Well....  it is.  What we had was something that might have been passable 20 years ago, but now, with a budget of nearly $1M, we have the staff that it takes to administer the ministries of the church. And, we sure don't want to get into dangerous exposures on security, harrassment, or other things!

Advice on the constitution:  keep any changes simple.  They can be expanded in the bylaws.  Remember that, like your state's or the federal constitution, it isn't the place for details, and should be broad enough to be interpreted equitably and fairly no matter what the issue.
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6 years ago  ::  Mar 29, 2008 - 3:33PM #6
tawonda
Posts: 4,367
At our last all-committee meeting -- we recently had new committees put together, with council representatives selected -- we had to look up our 50's-era constition's definition of "evangelism," and it was so absurd we all started laughing; it was basically about going after backslidden current members, with absolutely no sense of outreach or being the church in the world.
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