CHURCH CONSTITUTION

& BY-LAWS

Constitution

 

Friends Congregational Church

United Church of Christ

College Station, Texas

 

Adopted:     2/3/79
Amended:     1/16/83, 1/20/85, 1/22/89, 5/18/91, 11/20/94, 6/23/99, 6/27/04, 9/21/08, 6/23/13, 5/17/15, 6/14/2020

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ARTICLE I: NAME
The name of this Church will be Friends Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, located in College Station, Texas.

 


ARTICLE II: PURPOSE
The purpose of this church is to gather people of diverse backgrounds to celebrate our love of God with joy, enthusiasm, and faith. We desire to remember old traditions and affirm our new creations and to invite others to share mutual gifts.

 


ARTICLE III: POLITY
SECTION A. AFFILIATION WITH NATIONAL CHURCH
This Church will be a part of the United Church of Christ and it will sustain that relationship to the United Church of Christ described in those portions of the Constitution and by-laws of the United Church of Christ, adopted July 4, 1961, and as subsequently amended, relating to local churches.

SECTION B. GOVERNANCE
The government of this Church is vested in its members, who exercise the right of control in all of its affairs, subject, however to the Laws of the State of Texas relating to ecclesiastical corporations.

ARTICLE IV: MEMBERSHIP
SECTION A. REGULAR MEMBER

  1. Any person desiring to join in the ministry of this church, embracing the purpose as stated in Article II, may be admitted to membership by Confirmation, Adult Baptism, Letter of Transfer from another Church, or Reaffirmation of Faith.

  2. All members are encouraged to take part in the joy and fellowship of congregational life and share in the responsibility of supporting the work and mission of the Church. 


SECTION B. ASSOCIATE MEMBER
Associate membership may be extended to students in higher education during their period of study or to others for a period not to exceed one year. Associate members have the same rights, privileges, and responsibilities as full members.

 


ARTICLE V: ADMINISTRATION
SECTION A. GOVERNANCE
The governing body of this Church will be the membership of the Church assembled in a Congregational Meeting.


SECTION B. CONGREGATIONAL MEETING
There will be at least three Congregational Meetings each year.  In June, the Congregation will (1) elect officers and (2) receive the annual report.  In September, the Congregation will be presented with an estimated Annual Statement of Faith and Mission (estimated budget) for the following year.  In December, the Congregation will be presented with an official Annual Statement of Faith and Mission (budget) for approval by vote.  If scheduling conflicts prevent a congregational meeting during these specified months, the Church Council will establish a meeting date on the nearest available month.


SECTION C. QUORUM
A quorum will consist of FIFTEEN PERCENT (15%) of the members of the church. The number for the quorum will be established each year at the time the official count is sent to the national church. 


SECTION D. DECISION MAKING
A majority of all votes cast will decide matters and elections except for the following which will require a two-thirds (2/3) majority of those voting: calling or dismissing a Pastor; removing any chairperson, or other elected officer; amending the Constitution; buying, selling, transferring, mortgaging, or otherwise encumbering real property of the Church.

 


ARTICLE VI. CHURCH COUNCIL
SECTION A. FUNCTION
The Church Council will be the policy making and visioning body of the Church.

SECTION B. MEMBERSHIP
The Church Council will consist of the Moderator, Vice Moderator, Deputy Moderator for the Board of Trustees, Deputy Moderator for Programs, Church Council Secretary, Treasurer, Diversity and Inclusion Representative and two Congregational Representatives

 

 

ARTICLE VII. BOARD OF TRUSTEES
SECTION A. FUNCTION
The Board of Trustees will have oversight over the building and property. 

 

SECTION B. MEMBERSHIP
The Board of Trustees will consist of the Deputy Moderator as Chairperson, Financial Secretary, Youth Representative, Chairs of Stewardship, Property, and Personnel Ministries.

SECTION C. AUTONOMY
The Board of Trustees reports to the Church Council. Any action will be in accordance with established purpose and goals of the Church. All meetings are open, except when addressing personnel issues.

ARTICLE VIII. PROGRAMS MINISTRY
SECTION A. FUNCTION
The Programs Ministry will serve as the scheduling and coordinating body for the ministry and activity life of the church.

SECTION B. MEMBERSHIP
The Programs Ministry Team will consist of the Deputy Moderator as Chairperson, Youth Representative, and Chairpersons of the following Ministries: Christian Education, Justice and Missions, Worship, Outreach and Evangelism, Spiritual Life, Fellowship, and Nurture. Leaders of church-wide events and other groups are invited to send representatives as appropriate.

SECTION C. AUTONOMY
The Programs Ministry Team reports to the Church Council. Any action will be in accordance with established purpose and goals of the Church. All meetings are open.

 


ARTICLE IX. SENIOR PASTOR
The Senior Pastor will be ordained, with standing in the United Church of Christ, and will be a member of the Congregation. The Senior Pastor will be the spiritual leader of the Congregation and will administer the program of the Church in cooperation with the officers, ministries/committees, and Church membership. The Senior Pastor will be a member, ex-officio, without vote, on all ministries/committees.  The Senior Pastor will evaluate the Associate Pastor and the Director of Music Ministries annually – celebrating successes and setting goals for the coming year.  The Senior Pastor will make salary recommendations for each (based on guidelines from the United Church of Christ) to the Stewardship Chair for preparing the Annual Statement of Faith and Missions.

 


ARTICLE X. ASSOCIATE PASTOR
The Associate Pastor will be ordained, with standing in the United Church of Christ, and will be a member of the Congregation. The Associate Pastor will provide spiritual support of the Congregation and will assist in administering the program of the Church in cooperation with the Senior Pastor, other church staff, officers, ministries/committees, and Church membership. The Associate Pastor will be a member, ex-officio, without vote, on any assigned ministries/committees.

 


ARTICLE XI. PASTORAL RELATIONS MINISTRY
SECTION A. FUNCTION
The Pastoral Relations Ministry exists to support and assist the Pastor and Associate Pastor. 


SECTION B. MEMBERSHIP
Each of the Pastoral Relations Teams will consist of an equal number of members appointed by the Church Council and elected by the Congregation

 


ARTICLE XII. DISSOLUTION
In the event of dissolution of the Congregation, its remaining assets, if any, shall vest with the South Central Conference of the United Church of Christ.

 


ARTICLE XIII. AMENDMENTS
The By-Laws may be amended by majority of those present and voting at any Congregational Meeting called for the purpose of amendment.  The Constitution may be amended by two-thirds (2/3) majority of those present and voting at any Congregational Meeting called for the purpose of amendment. Proposed amendments will be a part of the notice of the Meeting at which they are to be considered.
 

 
 

By-Laws

 

Friends Congregational Church

United Church of Christ

College Station, Texas

 

Adopted 6/23/99,

Amended     6/27/04, 9/21/08, 5/10/10, 12/11/11, 6/23/13, 5/17/15, 6/14/2020

 

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ARTICLE I. OBLIGATION TO UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
SECTION A. WIDER CHURCH
The Congregation shall regularly contribute toward the work and mission of the United Church of Christ, the South Central Conference, and the Heart of Texas Association. 


SECTION B. DELEGATES TO WIDER CHURCH
The appropriate number of delegates and alternates from this Congregation, as indicated by the Constitution and the by-laws of the South Central Conference and the Heart of Texas Association, shall be appointed by the Church Council.


ARTICLE II. MEETINGS
SECTION A. CONGREGATIONAL MEETINGS
A Congregational Meeting to elect officers and receive the Annual Report will be held prior to July 1, the start of the Church year. (The Church year runs July 1 – June 30. The fiscal year coincides with the calendar year of January 1 – December 31.)

SECTION B. NOTICE OF MEETINGS
Notice of the Congregational meetings, including their purpose, will be given in writing at least two weeks in advance and will be announced during worship services preceding the meeting. 

SECTION C. SPECIAL CONGREGATIONAL MEETINGS
A Special meeting of the Congregation may be called at any time by the Church Council or by ten (10) members of the Congregation by petition to the Moderator.  The meeting will be held within three weeks of the presentation of the petition to the Moderator. No other business will be transacted except that for which the meeting was called.

SECTION D. VOTING PRIVILEGE
Members of the Church present at a meeting will be entitled to vote. Absentee balloting may be available at the discretion of the Church Council.

SECTION E. OPEN MEETINGS
Any Church member may attend any Church meeting (excluding Pastoral Relations, and in discussions of personnel issues) in a non-voting capacity and may participate in any and all discussions.


ARTICLE III. ELECTIONS
SECTION A. SCHEDULE FOR ELECTIONS
At a Congregational Meeting, the Church membership will elect officers. The following schedule will be followed:
 

 

Even Years:

  • Congregational Representative

  • Deputy Moderator of Trustees

  • Treasurer

  • Stewardship Chair

  • Personnel Chair

  • Youth Representative - Trustees

  • Youth Representative - Programs

  • Worship Chair

  • Evangelism Chair

  • Nurture Chair

  • Justice & Mission Chair

  • Pastoral Relations Representative

  • Assistant to the Treasurer

 

Odd Years:

  • Moderator

  • Vice Moderator

  • Deputy Moderator of Programs

  • Secretary

  • Congregational Representative

  • Property Chair

  • Financial Secretary

  • Spiritual Growth Chair

  • Youth Representative - Trustees

  • Youth Representative - Programs

  • Christian Education Chair

  • Fellowship Chair

  • Pastoral Relations Representative

 

SECTION B. TERM OF OFFICE
The term of office for all elected officers will be two (2) years and will begin on July 1 following their election, excepting Youth Representatives who serve for one (1) year terms. No person will be elected to any one position for more than two (2) consecutive years.  If appointed to fill an unfilled term, that person may be elected for one (1) additional term (for a maximum of four years total).
The term of office for all elected Church Council positions will be two (2) years and will begin on July 1 following their election. The same Church Council position may not be held for longer than one (1) term with the exception of the Treasurer.  The Treasurer position may be held for two (2) consecutive term.

 
SECTION C. LIMITATIONS OF SERVICE
No member of the Church will hold more than one elected position at a time, with the exception of members of the Pastoral Relations Ministry Team.

ARTICLE IV. NOMINATING COMMITTEE
SECTION A. PURPOSE
The purpose of this committee is to present a slate of candidates to the church membership at a Congregational Meeting.

SECTION B. MEMBERSHIP
The Nominating Committee will consist of the Congregational Representatives, two members suggested and approved by Church Council who are not currently on Church Council and the Pastor or Associate Pastor as an ex-officio member.  It will be convened and chaired by the outgoing Congregational Representative.  The Committee should be named by the March meeting of Church Council of each year and report back to the Church Council by the May meeting prior to the Annual Congregational Meeting. 

 


ARTICLE V. FINANCE COMMITTEE
SECTION A. PURPOSE
The Finance Committee will budget, monitor and control how church funds are spent so that the church will have the necessary resources to fulfill its mission, vision, and strategy.  The Committee will monitor the Endowment Funds, income and expenditures, Capital position, and the development of the Statement of Faith and Mission.  The Committee is accountable to the Church Council and will submit regular reports with regard to the activities of the Committee.  The Committee serves as a resource for daily financial operations.


SECTION B. MEMBERSHIP
Treasurer (Chair), Financial Secretary, Stewardship Chair, Moderator, Vice Moderator, and Pastors.  Special advisors may be appointed.

ARTICLE VI. CHURCH COUNCIL
SECTION A. QUORUM
A quorum will consist of five (5) VOTING members.

SECTION B. CREATION OF AD HOC GROUPS
The Church Council will have the authority to create any ad-hoc group for the purpose of examining special issues of concern and taking action in accordance.

SECTION C. VACANCIES IN POSITIONS
The Church Council will fill any vacancies that may occur in the offices of the Church for the remaining term.

SECTION D. OPEN MEETINGS
The Church Council may not hold closed meetings for any purpose, except in the case of sensitive personnel issues.


SECTION E. DUTIES OF MEMBERS OF CHURCH COUNCIL

  1. The Moderator will set the agendas and preside at meetings of the Church Council and all Congregational Meetings.

  2. The Vice Moderator will assist the Moderator as necessary and will be Moderator Elect for the term immediately following.

  3. The Deputy Moderator of the Board of Trustees will (1) act as Chairperson of that Board and (2) serve as a liaison to the Church Council from the Board of Trustees.

  4. The Deputy Moderator of the Programs Ministry will (1) act as Chairperson of the Programs Ministry Team, (2) serve as a liaison to the Church Council from the Programs Ministry, and (3) be responsible for ensuring leadership for major whole-church activities.

  5. The Church Council Secretary will announce dates of Church Council and Congregational Meetings, will keep an accurate record of the meetings of the Church Council and all Congregational Meetings of the church, and make minutes available to the Congregation.

  6. The Treasurer will be responsible for (1) the disbursement of all funds as authorized in the Statement of Faith and Missions (budget) by the Church Council, (2) keeping accurate records and submitting a written report to the Church Council at each monthly meeting, (3) maintaining monthly/quarterly/yearly payroll records, (4) providing W-2s to church and church related employees, (5) maintaining all financial records for IRS/Social Security according to applicable federal and state laws, and (6) chairing the Finance Committee.

  7. The Diversity and Inclusion Representative will serve as a voice for all and work to ensure that we, Friends Congregational Church, hold ourselves accountable, individually as well as collectively, for being a community of faith that is extravagantly welcoming to all.  Accountability involves leadership at the (1) individual level, (2) interpersonal level, (3) group level, and (4) community level.  In support of the 2020 Strategic Plan, the Diversity and Inclusion Representative will facilitate programming opportunities that work to accomplish these goals. 

  8. The Congregational Representatives will serve as a voice for members of the Congregation for all deliberations of the Church Council. The Congregational Representative whose term is ending that year, will convene and chair the Nominating Committee.

ARTICLE VII. BOARD OF TRUSTEES
SECTION A. RELATIONSHIP TO CHURCH COUNCIL
The Board of Trustees reports to the Church Council. The Board of Trustees will seek the counsel of the Church Council for questions or concerns about established policy.

SECTION B. QUORUM
A quorum will consist of three (3) members of the Board of Trustees.

SECTION C. DUTIES OF MEMBERS OF BOARD OF TRUSTEES  

  1. All individual Board of Trustees Ministries will report to and seek the counsel of the Church Council for questions or concerns about established policy. 

  2. The Stewardship Chair will: (1) oversee the annual stewardship program, (2) coordinate the Wider Church Offerings, and (3) serve on the Finance Committee.  

  3. The Financial Secretary will: (1) monitor deposits of all monies, contributions, and payments to the Church, (2) provide weekly bank receipts of deposits with breakdowns to the Treasurer, (3) reconcile the Church's financial records on a monthly basis, (4) confidentially keep records of pledges, (5) provide biannual reports of giving to members and friends of the Congregation and (6) serve on the Finance Committee.  

  4. The Property Ministry will be responsible for the maintenance and operation of any and all facilities and properties of the Church.  

  5. The Personnel Ministry will: (1) make hiring recommendations to Church Council for positions authorized by Church Council (e.g. custodian, staff assistant, child care worker, and Director of Music Ministries, and pianists), (2) develop and maintain job descriptions for all non-pastoral positions, (3) staff the nursery, (4) evaluate job performance on an annual basis with some exceptions (the Pianist will be evaluated by the Director of Music Ministries and the Director of Music will be evaluated by the Senior Pastor annually), (5) make wage/salary recommendations annually to the Stewardship Chair for consideration in the Statement of Faith and Missions, and (5) verify compliance with the UCC anti-harassment policy, including obtaining background checks.  

  6. The Youth Representative will provide a youth perspective to all deliberations of the Board of Trustees.

ARTICLE VIII. PROGRAMS MINISTRY  
SECTION A. RELATIONSHIP TO CHURCH COUNCIL
The Programs Ministry reports to the Church Council. The Programs Ministry will seek the counsel of the Church Council for questions or concerns about established policy.

SECTION B. QUORUM
A quorum will consist of at least five (5) voting members of the Programs Ministry.


SECTION C. DUTIES OF MINISTRIES

  1. All individual Programs Ministries will report to and seek the counsel of the Programs Ministry for questions or concerns about established policy.  

  2. The Christian Education Ministry will: (1) oversee educational programs for children and youth such as Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Nursery, Youth Group, and other programs as they are developed, (2) recruit and train leaders for these programs, and (3) obtain any necessary materials and supplies for Christian Education.  

  3. The Outreach and Evangelism Ministry will lead and equip the Congregation in reaching out to visitors and the community to share in the life of the Church. The Evangelism Ministry will be responsible for community visibility of the Church.  

  4. The Nurture Ministry will assist and coordinate the care and nurture of Church members and friends of the Congregation.  

  5. The Fellowship Ministry will lead, develop, and promote the fellowship life of the Congregation.   

  6. The Worship Ministry will cooperate with the Pastor in developing worship services for the Congregation. The Worship Ministry will co-ordinate with the Personnel Chair in staffing the Director of Music Ministries position. The Director of Music Ministries will be an ex-officio member of the Worship Ministry.  

  7. The Spiritual Life Ministry will assist and co-ordinate spiritual growth opportunities such as adult Sunday School, theology and book discussion groups, activities, and literature.  

  8. The Justice and Missions Ministry will extend the work of the Church to the community and the world through education on social justice issues and service projects and offerings.  

  9. The Youth Representative will provide a youth perspective to all deliberations of the Programs Ministry.

 

 

ARTICLE IX. OTHER PROGRAMS OF THE CHURCH
SECTION A. RELATIONSHIPS TO THE CHURCH 
The Church may enter into relationships with outside programs or organizations. These organizations are fiscally accountable through Church Council. They will have on file a Statement of Purpose and will report at least annually to Church Council.  They cannot encumber debt in the name of Friends Congregational Church. If the programs or organizations dissolve, they are responsible for resolving any outstanding debts with the Church. Outstanding assets will be dispersed through agreement with the entity’s officers and the Church Council.


ARTICLE X. PASTORAL RELATIONS MINISTRY
SECTION A. COMPOSITION AND TERM OF OFFICE
The Senior Pastoral Relations team will consist of four members. Two will be appointed by Church Council and two elected by the Congregation. The Associate Pastoral Relations team will consist of four members.  Two will be appointed by Church Council and two elected by the Congregation. The term of office is two (2) years with one appointed and one elected member taking office each year. 


SECTION B. DUTIES
Each respective Pastoral Relations team will serve as an advocate of the ministry and as a confidant of the Pastor and Associate Pastor so as to anticipate and resolve problems that might arise as well as work with the Pastor and Associate Pastor to permit that individual to grow and mature with the Congregation.  The ministry team will seek to work with the Pastor or Associate Pastor in helping that person develop goals for the pastoral ministry and growth and development of the Church.  Each ministry team will meet with the Pastor or Associate Pastor on at least a quarterly basis to discuss these goals and the hopes and aspirations of members of the Congregations.  Meetings are closed due to the sensitive nature of information discussed.

 


ARTICLE XI. SENIOR PASTOR 
SECTION A. ANNUAL EVALUATION OF SENIOR PASTOR
Church Council will evaluate the Senior Pastor annually-- celebrating successes and setting goals for the coming year. Church Council will make a salary and benefit recommendations which consider Personnel’s suggested increase(s) for staff. Recommendations will be used in preparing the Annual Statement of Faith and Missions.


SECTION B. VACANCY
When a vacancy occurs in the Senior Pastorate, the Church Council will appoint a Search Committee of seven (7) persons from the Church membership and will, with the cooperation of the South Central Conference, United Church of Christ, recommend to the church a suitable candidate for the position.

SECTION C. TERMINATION
The termination of Pastoral duties may be effected by Congregational vote or by the Senior Pastor upon ninety (90) days written notice. The requirement of the ninety days may be waived by mutual consent of the Senior Pastor and the Church Council.

 


ARTICLE XII. ASSOCIATE PASTOR
SECTION A. ANNUAL EVALUATION OF ASSOCIATE PASTOR
The Senior Pastor will evaluate the Associate Pastor annually-- celebrating successes and setting goals for the coming year. The Senior Pastor will make a salary recommendation (based on guidelines from the United Church of Christ) to the Stewardship Chair for preparing the Annual Statement of Faith and Missions.


SECTION B. VACANCY
When a vacancy occurs in the Associate Pastorate, the Church Council will appoint a Search Committee of seven (7) persons from the Church membership and will, with the cooperation of the South Central Conference, United Church of Christ, recommend to the church a suitable candidate for the position.

SECTION C. TERMINATION
The termination of Pastoral duties may be effected by Congregational vote or by the Associate Pastor upon ninety (90) days written notice. The requirement of the ninety days may be waived by mutual consent of the Associate Pastor and the Church Council.
 

Friends Congregational Church, UCC

2200 Southwood Drive

College Station, TX 77845

979-693-7021

office@friends-ucc.org

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