Community Church Constitution
CONSTITUTION OF DEEP RIVER
The name of this organization shall be the 'Deep River
Community Church' (DRCC), hereinafter called "this church".
The purpose of this church is to bring together Christians
from the community to worship and serve God. As
this church, we will be an open, welcoming and diverse
fellowship exploring and striving to live the all-encompassing
love of Jesus. We will seek to grow through study,
sharing and fellowship, to share the gifts that God has given
us, to be good stewards of Godís creation, and to minister as
God's light to the larger community.
shall be operated exclusively for charitable purposes and
shall be operated without profit or gain to its members.
This church shall be self-governing with the members and
adherents having the final authority at properly constituted
Membership in this church shall be open to all those
who have publicly:
-affirmed that they understand the
essential elements of the Christian faith,
-subscribed to the Core Values and Principles listed in
Appendix A, and
-committed to participate in and support
this church and its ministry through a portion of their time,
talents and income, as they are able.
Through appropriate means, the Minister shall ensure
that those aspiring to membership understand the essential
elements of the Christian faith in a modern world and
understand the Core Values and Principles of this church.
Each person joining shall be present at the church service at
which new members are to be received and shall be welcomed
into membership by the right hand of fellowship, unless
excused by Council.
Adherents are non-members who support
this church with a portion of their time, talents and income.
They are encouraged to become members.
Adherents have the
same rights, privileges and responsibilities as members.
Hereinafter members and adherents are collectively referred to
RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER CHRISTIAN BODIES
3.1. Affiliations and
While remaining autonomous, this church shall promote
friendly relations with all denominations.
church shall foster a special relationship with the United
Church of Canada and the Presbyterian Church in Canada.
These two bodies shall each be granted:
to their local association (Upper Valley Presbytery of the
United Church of Canada and the Lanark and Renfrew Presbytery
of the Presbyterian Church in Canada).
-seven percent of
the total mission offering, except for an offering designated
as a special mission by the congregation.
ministerial training is recognized as a continuing
responsibility of this church.
This church shall have a
mission program that reflects concern for the physical and
spiritual needs of others. The mission program and
budget shall be approved by the congregation.
Ministers of this church shall be ordained clergy of
member churches of the World or Canadian Council of Churches.
They shall remain under the local judicatory of their church
in matters of faith and doctrine.
The ministry of
this church shall be denominationally varied. Ministers
shall be called at congregational meetings by a two-thirds
affirmative vote of the members present. A search
committee elected by the congregation shall present one
minister or ministerial team for the call.
CHURCH GOVERNMENT AND OPERATION
The financial year for this church shall be the
calendar year. An annual congregational meeting shall be
held on a Sunday in February as determined by Council.
Special congregational meetings may be called by Council or at
the written request of twenty-five members. Normally the
time and place for a congregational meeting shall be announced
at all worship services held by this church in the two-week
period immediately before the meeting. A quorum shall
consist of thirty-five members.
Where quick action is
imperative, the chair of Council and three committee chairs
may jointly call a special congregational meeting, with or
without the normal notice procedure.
The chair or
vice-chair of Council shall conduct congregational meetings.
Matters before a congregational meeting shall be decided by a
simple majority of the eligible votes cast unless otherwise
Council acts on behalf of the congregation between
Council shall consist of
the chair and vice-chair of Council and of each program
committee, the treasurer and assistant treasurer, envelope
secretary, Council secretary, Personnel chair, Leading with
Care chair, and the immediate past chair of Council. The
minister(s) are ex-officio voting members of Council.
Council shall meet at least four times each year.
Prime responsibility for calling meetings and preparing agenda
rests with the chair of Council. A quorum shall consist
of nine Council members. On matters before Council each
member shall have one vote, a simple majority being required.
The Chair does not vote except in the case of a tie when the
Chair may cast a deciding vote.
responsible for providing support to the minister(s),
coordinating committees, appointing people to positions when
necessary, establishing policies, forming special committees,
presenting budgets to the congregation and doing long-range
Council members are elected for a one-year term.
If vacancies exist at any time, appointments may be made by
Council to complete the term until the next election.
4.3 Program Committees
The bulk of the work of the church is carried out
through program committees with other committees of Council
Each program committee has a
chair, vice-chair, and members of the congregation. The
chair or vice-chair of Council and the minister are ex-officio
members of each program committee. Members of the
congregation are encouraged to attend committee meetings and
participate in the work of the committees.
is responsible for allocating expenditures within its budget,
proposing its program and budget for the following year to
Council and submitting an annual report to the congregation.
The key program responsibilities for each committee are
defined below; these duties may be augmented or adjusted by
Council as the need arises.
-shares in planning and providing
resources for worship services
-prepares the sanctuary for
-oversees the music program & musicians
-organizes and trains ushering teams
-assigns people for
reading, flowers, communion and welcoming duties
and entertains anniversary speakers and arranges anniversary
-finds and assists pulpit supply when necessary.
Members of this committee include the music director,
musicians, and the minister (participation required).
-plans and administers a Christian
education program for people of all ages
regarding use of Christian education resources and facilities
-assumes responsibility for audio-visual equipment and the
Members of this committee include the Sunday
School teachers, the librarian, and the minister.
-plans and administers the mission
program of this church
-recommends missions for support
-seeks and publicizes information on how our donations are
-obtains and entertains guest speakers for missions.
-coordinates ministerial visits
(with the minister(s))
-organizes lay visitors (home,
-operates a telephone contact group
-delivers sermons to those unable to attend services
-uses a variety of methods to
communicate with all people in the congregation and the local
-offers assistance to those with special needs
-assists with baptisms and reception of new members
records of church membership and updates congregational lists
-coordinates memorial funds
-manages the physical operation,
maintenance and improvements of buildings, grounds, manse,
equipment & furnishings (routine & projects)
-organizes ongoing stewardship
information and education programs
-organizes campaigns for
money, time and talents at least once per year
Leadership and Administration
Council Chair and Vice-Chair
In addition to duties listed in sections 4.1 & 4.2
above, the Council Chair and Vice-Chair are responsible for:
-overall administration, office
oversight, and the Church Secretary
-budget planning &
-long range planning, and
The Secretary shall:
-prepare, distribute and file
minutes of council meetings, and of Annual and Special
Meetings of the congregation.
-manage the day to day
administrative aspects of the church office.
and Assistant Treasurer
The Treasurer shall
-pay bills as directed by the
various committees within their approved budgets.
-submit and interpret regular financial statements to Council,
the program committees and the congregation
audited statement at the annual congregational meeting
-prepare an annual budget for submission to the congregation.
The signing officers are the treasurer, the assistant
treasurer and the chair and vice-chair of Council, two
signatures being required.
Envelope Secretary and
Assistant Envelope Secretary
The envelope secretary and assistant envelope secretary
are appointed by Council and shall
-oversee bank deposits
-keep records of
offerings and distribute regular statements to contributors
-give the treasurer weekly summaries of amounts contributed to
the various accounts
-organize and train counting teams and
draw up the countersí schedule.
-appoint counting captains.
This committee shall
-oversee the relationship,
responsibility, and authority of church staff members
(employee & contract)
-manage agreements with staff
concerning salary, benefits, and working conditions
and evaluate the effectiveness of staff annually, and
-report annually to Council.
The chair shall be appointed
by Council. The other members are the chair and
vice-chair of Council, chairs of the property and worship
committees and the treasurer.
The Leading-with-Care committee shall:
coordinate DRCC policies and practices with respect to the
protection of potentially vulnerable people.
coordinate DRCC policies and practices with respect to health,
safety and accessibility in the facilities.
The Chair shall
be appointed by Council. The other members are the Chair
of Council, Christian Education Chair, Personnel Chair and
Pastoral Care Chair.
This committee shall be appointed by Council when
necessary to hire non-ministerial staff.
The chair shall be elected by the congregation at its
annual congregational meeting and is normally the immediate
past chair of council. The committee shall nominate at
least one candidate for each position on Council and a chair
for the nominating committee.
The committee shall also
nominate an auditor for appointment by Council when approved
by the congregation. Names of the nominees shall be
published at least one week before the annual congregational
meeting and the chair shall call for additional nominations at
Ad Hoc Committees
Ad hoc committees may be appointed by Council from time
to time with terms and mandates determined by resolution of
This church shall have three trustees elected by the
congregation from the membership.
All real property
owned by this church shall be vested in their name and the
trustees shall act only as directed by the congregation.
The management and all transactions with respect to real
property shall conform to the requirements of the Religious
Organizations' Lands Act of Ontario.
On behalf of
the congregation, the trustees shall oversee the use, care and
protection of all church property including essential records.
Trustees shall receive all minutes of Council meetings and
regular financial statements.
When a vacancy occurs, the
remaining trustees may exercise all trustee functions until a
new trustee is elected.
At each Annual congregational meeting, Council shall
recommend the appointment of an auditor to be approved by the
congregation for the current fiscal year. The Auditor
-be independent of all financial activities of this
-independently review all financial records and
-review authorization for expenditures
-identify potential weaknesses and opportunities for
improvements in financial procedures
-report annually to
The auditor shall receive all minutes of
Council meetings and all regular financial statements.
If this church ceases to exist, all of its assets shall be
distributed to the affiliated churches or to other registered
AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION
This constitution may be
amended at a congregational meeting by an affirmative vote of
at least two-thirds of the eligible votes cast. When the
congregational meeting is called, it shall be clearly stated
that the intent is to amend the constitution. Copies of
the proposed amendments shall be made available at least one
week before the meeting.
This constitution dated 2013
February 17 supersedes all previous constitutions and
revisions of constitutions of the Deep River Community Church.
Deep River Community Church
(the following was approved by the congregation 2012 February
Compassionate, Engaging, Progressive
We are an open, welcoming
exploring and striving to live
all-encompassing love of Jesus
Core Values and
1. Worship needs to explore and celebrate
life within the mystery we name God
and motivate us to
live the all-encompassing love of Jesus. Therefore, we
worship in a variety of ways that explore and celebrate this
2. Music is essential to worship and needs to
be creative and engaging. Therefore,
our music supports
and compliments our worship and theology through a variety of
3. Faith needs to be progressive and relevant.
Therefore, we challenge ourselves to think deeply about our
culture, traditions and the implications for life now and in
4. Scripture bears witness to our
ancestorsí faith and their perception of Godís intentions for
their time and place as well as for our own. Therefore, we
engage scripture progressively seeking Godís intention for our
own time and place.
5. Our missions strive to effect
positive changes in peopleís lives. Therefore, we support and
encourage congregational involvement in projects both within
and beyond our community.
6. Through education we
seek to expand our understanding of and ability to live the
all-encompassing love of Jesus. Therefore, our
educational activities use creative and practical ways to
learn about and share that love.
7. We are called to a
life-style that expresses the all-encompassing love of Jesus.
Therefore, we use our many talents and resources to reach
out to our communities, striving to be flexible, open-minded
and progressive. We will challenge the status-quo if we
believe it is contrary to Jesusí vision of the Kingdom of God.
8. We are a Community Church. Therefore, we seek to
provide services and facilities to our community.
The presence of all generations provides a balance and
richness to our church community. Therefore, we will nurture
and care for all people in all stages of life.
affirming God is the God of all creation. Therefore, we will
welcome, accept and affirm all.
11. Diversity is a
reality and one of Godís gifts. Therefore, we celebrate and
respect the differences that exist among us.
Leadership at all levels in our congregational life needs to
be intentional and discerning, reflective of our core values
and principles. Therefore, we support experimentation and
13. Wonder and delight is our response to
Godís generous love and acceptance. Therefore, we will have
fun in our life together as the Community Church.