TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

Articles of Incorporation                                                                                          Page

 

               Preamble.................................................................................................          1

               Article I: Name.......................................................................................           1

               Article II: Confession..............................................................................          2

               Article III: Synodical Affiliation.............................................................             2

               Article IV: Membership..........................................................................           2

                              Membership Defined.................................................................         2

                              Membership Privileges..............................................................         3

               Article V: Organization..........................................................................           3

                              Authority of the Congregation...................................................        3

                              Officers of the Congregation......................................................       3

                              Administrative Boards...............................................................        4

                              Church Council.........................................................................        4

                              Rights and Powers.....................................................................       4

                              Registered Agent.......................................................................        4

               Article VI: Pastors and Christian Day School Teachers...........................           5

               Article VII: Societies...............................................................................          5

               Article VIII: Property Rights...................................................................          5

               Article IX: Books and Forms...................................................................         5

               Article X: Validity of Resolutions...........................................................           5

               Article XI: Amendments.........................................................................          6

  

By-laws to the Articles of Incorporation

 

               Article I: Communicant Membership......................................................          7

                              Application for Membership - procedure...................................        7

                              Privileges and Duties of Communicant Members.......................         7

               Article II: Voting Membership................................................................           8

                              Eligibility..................................................................................         8

                              Privileges and Duties of Voting Members..................................         8

               Article III: Discipline in the Congregation..............................................            8

                              Communicant Membership - Termination.................................         9

                                             Transfers......................................................................     9

                                             Joining Other Churches...............................................       9

                                             Whereabouts Unknown................................................      9

                                             Self Exclusion...............................................................     9

                                             Excommunication.........................................................      9

                              Provisions Pertaining to Church Officers & Directors...............        10

                              Provisions pertaining to Pastors & Teachers............................        10

 

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               Article IV: Meetings of the Congregation..............................................          11

                              Regular Meetings....................................................................        11

                              Special Meetings.....................................................................        11

                              Order of Business at Regular Meetings....................................         11

                              Restrictions pertaining to Votersí Meetings.............................          12

               Article V: The Office of the Pastor or Teacher.......................................          13

                              Procedure for securing a Pastor or Teacher..............................        13

                              The Pastoral Office..................................................................       13

                              The Office of Teacher and Principal........................................         14

               Article VI: Election of Officers & Administrative Boards......................           15

                              Nomination Procedure.............................................................        15

                              Election Procedure...................................................................       16

                              Appointed Officers..................................................................       17

                              Installation of Officers - Terms of Office.................................        17

                              Vacancy in an Office...............................................................        17

               Article VII: Duties of Officers...............................................................         17

                              Duties of Officers....................................................................       17

                              The Church Council................................................................        18

                              Administrative Boards.............................................................       19

                                             General Duties and Powers........................................     19

                                             Organization and Meeting.........................................       20

                                                            Board of Elders............................................     20

                                                            Board of Evangelism....................................     21

                                                            Bethesda Lutheran School Board..................   21

                                                            Board of Parish Education............................    21

                                                            Board of Youth Ministry..............................    21

                                                            Board of Stewardship...................................     22

                                                            Financial Secretary........................ÖÖÖÖ   22

                                                            Board of Trustees.........................................     22

               Article VIII. Amendments....................................................................          22

 

 

 

 

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ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION

OF

Bethesda Lutheran Church

Hot Springs, SD 57747

 

 

NOTE: In this document any reference to ďhe, him, hisĒ refers to either sex EXCEPT references to the office of Pastor, President, Vice President, or Board of Elders.

 

Pursuant to the provisions of SDCL 47-22-19, the undersigned corporation adopts the following Articles of Amendment to its Articles of Incorporation.

 

FIRST: The name of the corporation is Bethesda Lutheran Church, Hot Springs, South Dakota.

 

SECOND: The following amendments of the Articles of Incorporation, Articles I through XIII, both inclusive, and all amendments thereto of the Articles of Incorporation now on file with the Secretary of State were adopted by the directors or members of the incorporation on the 16th day of February, 1988, in the manner prescribed by SDCL 47-22, and are hereby amended to read as follows:

 

PREAMBLE

 

It is the will of our Lord Jesus Christ that His disciples should preach the Gospel to the whole world (Mark 16:16, Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8) that Christís mission for His Church might be carried out according to His will, He has commanded that Christians unite in worship (Hebrews 10:24-25), practice fellowship with one another (Acts 2:42), witness to all men (Acts 1:8), help each other grow in the Word (Ephesians 4:11-14), serve the needs of all men in Christian love (Ephesians 4:7-16, Mark 10:42-44, John 13:35, Galatians 6:10), administer the office of the Keys as His Church (John 20:21-23, Matthew 18:15-20), and maintain decency and order (I Corinthians 14:40) in the Church.

 

Therefore we, a number of Lutheran Christians living in and near Hot Springs, South Dakota, accept and subscribe to the following Articles of Incorporation and By-laws, in accordance with which all spiritual and material affairs of our congregation shall be governed.

 

ARTICLE I: NAME

 

The name of this congregation shall be ďBethesda Lutheran Church, Hot Springs, South Dakota.Ē

 

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ARTICLE II: CONFESSION

 

This congregation accepts all the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired and revealed Word of God, and all the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, contained in the Book of Concord of the year 1580, as the correct presentation and true exposition of Christian Doctrine drawn from the Holy Scriptures, viz.:

1)     The Three Ecumenical Creeds, viz.: the Apostolic and Nicene, and the Athanasian.

2)     The Unaltered Augsburg Confession.

3)     The Apology of the Augsburg Confession.

4)     The Smalcald Articles.

5)     Lutherís Large Catechism.

6)     Lutherís Small Catechism.

7)     The Formula of Concord.

 

No doctrine or practice in conflict, or inconsistent with the above norms of our faith and life shall be taught or tolerated in this congregation.

 

ARTICLE III: SYNODICAL AFFILIATION

 

This congregation shall be affiliated with the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod as long as the confessions and constitution of said synod are in accord with the confession and Articles of Incorporation of this congregation as laid down in Article 2.

 

This congregation shall, to the best if its ability, collaborate with said Synod and assist it in effecting all sound measures intended for the building up of the Kingdom of God.

 

ARTICLE IV: MEMBERSHIP

 

A.     Membership Defined

 

          1.    Baptized membership in this congregation is held by all those who are baptized in the Name of the Triune God with water and are under our pastoral care.

 

          2.    Communicant membership in this congregation may be held only by those who:

(a)    Are baptized in the Name of the Triune God.

(b)    Have declared their acceptance of the confessions of this congregation as contained in Article 2 of these Articles of Incorporation.

 

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(c)    Have been accepted into communicant membership in accordance with the By-laws of this congregation and shall remain faithful to the responsibilities of membership as contained in these By-laws.

(d)    Do not live in manifest works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21), but lead a Christian life.

(e)    Are not members of a secret society or of any other organization conflicting with the Word of God and the conduct of a Christian (II Corinthians 6:14-18).

 

          3.    Voting Membership

This congregation shall be represented by and administer all its affairs through its Voting Membership and its elected officers.

 

Only communicant members, who have qualified according to the membership provisions of the By-laws, shall be received as Voting Members if this congregation.

 

B.     The membership, and membership privileges, of each communicant member shall remain in force so long as each member shall maintain his eligibility according to the five points in Section A-2 of this article and shall meet the requirements stated or implied in the disciplinary or other provisions, of the By-laws. A member who voluntarily severs his connection with this congregation, or who has been released or transferred, or who has been excommunicated or excludes himself according to the provisions of the By-laws, shall be deemed to have terminated his membership in this congregation along with all rights and privileges of such membership.

 

ARTICLE V: ORGANIZATION

 

A.     Authority of the Congregation

The congregation, acting through the votersí assembly, shall have the supreme power to administer and manage all temporal affairs of the congregation. Matters of doctrine and conscience shall be decided by the Word of God.

 

B.     Officers of the Congregation

The Officers of the Congregation shall consist of a President, a Vice President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and a Head Usher, elected from among the Voting Membership in accordance with the By-laws of the congregation.

 

The President of the congregation, or Vice President when acting in the Presidentís capacity, shall have a voice on all Administrative Boards, but his right to vote shall be limited to such Board or Boards on which he may hold membership. The Pastor(s) of the congregation shall be ex-officio member(s)

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of all Boards and their associated committees, and may, at his discretion, attend any or all meetings related to congregational activity of any kind.

 

C.     Administrative Boards

Responsibility and authority for the daily administration of congregational affairs shall be delegated to the following boards:

              1.    A Board of Elders

              2.    A Bethesda Lutheran School Board

              3.    A Board of Trustees

              4.    Any Boards deemed necessary by the Votersí Assembly, which would include A Board of Evangelism, A Board of Parish Education, A Board of Youth Ministry, A Board of Stewardship, or any other Board.

 

One member of each Administrative Board shall serve as Director of that Board.

 

D.     Church Council:

The Church Council shall consist of the Pastor(s), the President, the Vice President, the Secretary, the Treasurer of the congregation, the Head Usher, and the Director of the seven Administrative Boards listed in Section C of this article. They shall hold a position on the Church Council by virtue of their call or election by the Voting Members of the congregation so long as their term of office continues. The power vested to the Church Council shall be defined by the votersí assembly and outlined in the Articles of Incorporation and By-laws.

 

E.      Rights and Powers

This congregation, subject to the limiting provisions and regulations of these Articles of Incorporation and its associated By-laws, shall have supreme power in the administration of its affairs. No duly elected officers of this congregation shall have any power or authority beyond that conferred upon them by the congregation acting through its Voting Membership. Each Administrative Board, along with the Church Council, shall be responsible for the Performance of such duties as the Voting Membership may delegate to them by special resolution. Such specially delegated rights and powers, both of officers and Administrative Boards, shall be subject to revision or complete withdrawal by the voting membership at its discretion.

 

F.      Registered Agent

The registered agent, for the purpose of communication between the Secretary of State and Bethesda Lutheran Church, Hot Springs, South Dakota, will be the President of the Congregation.

 

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ARTICLE VI: PASTORS AND CHRISTIAN DAY SCHOOL TEACHERS

 

Only such candidates shall be called and elected to serve as Pastors or as Christian Day School Teachers, who profess acceptance of, and pledge faithful adherence to, the confessions of this congregation as set forth in Article 2 of these Articles of Incorporation.

 

In the absence of adequate cause for dismissal, as defined in the By-laws of the congregation, the tenure of office of a called or elected Pastor or Christian Day School Teacher shall be the remainder of his active life, or until the Lord calls him into another field of service.

 

ARTICLE VII: SOCIETIES

 

Societies may be organized within the congregation only with the expressed approval of the Voting Membership, and all such societies shall be under the supervision of the Pastor(s) and the appropriate Administrative Board under whose jurisdiction they function. Only communicant members of this congregation shall be officers of such societies or groups. Any decisions, enactments or performances of or by societies or groups shall be invalid if they conflict with these Articles of Incorporation and its associated By-laws. The Pastor(s), by virtue of his office, shall be the advisor for such societies or groups within the congregation.

 

ARTICLE VIII: PROPERTY RIGHTS

 

If at any time a separation should take place within this congregation, the advice of the officers of District and Synod shall be sought. If, despite all efforts to compose differences in peace and love, a division into factions of the congregation shall occur, the property of the congregation and all benefits there with connected shall remain with those members who continue to adhere in confession and practice to Article 2, 3, 4, and 6 of these Articles of Incorporation.

 

ARTICLE IX: BOOKS AND FORMS

 

Approved Lutheran Hymn books and books of forms only shall be used in public worship and in all official acts of the Pastor(s).

 

In addition to the Bible and Lutherís Small Catechism, soundly Lutheran books and literature only shall be used for the purpose of religious instruction.

 

ARTICLE X: VALIDITY OF RESOLUTIONS

 

All congregation matters shall be decided by a simple majority vote of the qualified Voting Members present at a properly convened meeting of the Voting

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Membership, except as otherwise provided in these Articles of Incorporation and its associated By-laws for dealing with certain situations or matters therein specifically mentioned and defined.

 

ARTICLE XI: AMENDMENTS

 

A.     These Articles of Incorporation may be changed or amended, with the exception of the Articles listed in section B of this article, by a two-thirds majority of the votes case in a regular meeting of the Voting Membership, provided that the intention to amend the Articles of Incorporation and the wording of the amendments proposed shall be distributed to the congregation assembled for worship on two different Sundays prior to the date upon which the amendment is presented for action.

 

B.     Articles 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8 are hereby made irrevocable.

 

WHERE THERE ARE MEMBERS ENTITLED TO VOTE THEREON:

 

A meeting of the members of the said corporation was held on the 16th day of February, 1988, at which the Articles of Incorporation were adopted. A quorum was present at the meeting and the articles received a two-thirds majority of the voters entitled to be cast by members present.

 

BETHESDA LUTHERAN CHURCH

OF HOT SPRINGS, SOUTH DAKOTA

 

 by: Vern G. Hagedorn, President

 

 Gaylan Sieg, Secretary

 

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA       )

               : SS.

COUNTY OF FALL RIVER          )

 

On this the 11th day of March, 1988, before me, Priscilla Sieg, the undersigned officer, personally appeared Vern G. Hagedorn and Gaylan Sieg, who acknowledged themselves to be the President and Secretary of BETHESDA LUTHERAN CHURCH, Hot Springs, South Dakota, a corporation, and that they as such President and Secretary, being authorized so to do, executed the foregoing instrument for the purposes therein contained, by signing the name of the corporation by themselves as President and Secretary.

 

 IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I hereunto set my hand and official seal.

 

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THE BY-LAWS TO THE ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION

 

ARTICLE I: COMMUNICANT MEMBERSHIP

 

Section 1. Application for Membership - Procedure

 

Applicants for communicant membership in this congregation shall consult the pastor who shall determine whether such applicants are eligible for membership in accordance with Article 4 of the Articles of Incorporation. Applicants not familiar with the doctrines and confessions of the Lutheran Church shall attend a course of instruction and/or make profession of their faith before being received as members.

 

Applicants from Lutheran churches with whom we are in fellowship shall submit a letter of transfer from their former congregation to establish their eligibility for membership. In the case of applicants whose previous membership in a Lutheran congregation has lapsed, the Pastor may, with the consent of the Board of Elders, arrange for a period of re-instruction prior to reaffirmation of faith for such applicant.

 

Applicants from Lutheran churches, with whom we are not in fellowship, shall apply for communicant membership through the Pastor and Board of Elders. Each applicant shall be considered on an individual basis.

 

After applicants have given satisfactory evidence of their eligibility in accordance with the three preceding paragraphs, their admission as communicant members shall be recommended by the Pastor to the Board of Elders, which shall have the authority to act on such application in behalf of the Voting Membership.

 

Section 2. Privileges and Duties of Communicant Members

 

It shall be the privilege and duty of members of this congregation to:

Grow in the Christian faith and life through faithful use of the means of grace, searching the Scriptures at home and in fellowship with other members of the congregation and its agencies, and partaking of the Lordís Supper frequently.

 

Live a morally decent life before God and men, abstaining from open works of the flesh (Gal. 5:18-21), and so conducting themselves at all times as to bring credit rather than blame upon the Church of Jesus Christ.

 

Provide for proper Christian training of their children by instruction at home and through the agencies of the Church (Eph. 6:4).

 

Contribute toward the maintenance of the congregation and the extension of the Kingdom of God at home and abroad according to their financial ability (I Cor. 16:2, Mark 16:15).

 

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Place their God-given talents and abilities at the disposal of the Lord of the Church through the Pastor(s), the officers, and other agencies of the congregation as set forth in its Articles of Incorporation and By-laws, so that the purposes and functions of the congregation may be effectively implemented (II Cor. 8:1-5).

 

ARTICLE II: VOTING MEMBERSHIP

 

Section 1. Eligibility

Any communicant member of this congregation who is eighteen (18) years of age or over, shall be eligible to apply for Voting Membership. Such application shall be made at a regular Votersí Meeting of the congregation. Upon affirmation by the applicant of his intention to fulfill such duties as are required of a Voting Member to the best of his ability, he shall be accepted as a Voting Member at a subsequent regular Votersí Meeting, within one (1) year of application, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto. He shall be required to sign the official copy of the Articles of Incorporation and By-laws of the Congregation at the time of his acceptance into Voting Membership.

 

Section 2. Privileges and Duties of Voting Members

 

It shall be the privilege and duty of Voting Members of this congregation to:

 

Conscientiously and prayerfully exercise his right of suffrage in all measures that will advance the work of Christís Kingdom both locally and in the Church-at-large.

 

Willingly serve in any office or capacity for which his talents and abilities equip him.

 

Faithfully attend all meetings of the Voting Membership.

 

Assist with wholehearted diligence in administering the temporal and spiritual affairs of the congregation.

 

Encourage, by personal example, friendly interest, and judicious counsel, such eligible communicant members who are not yet Voting Members to consider seriously accepting the responsibilities and privileges of Voting Membership.

 

ARTICLE III: DISCIPLINE IN THE CONGREGATION

 

All discipline in this congregation shall be administered in accordance with the order of discipline laid down in Matthew 18:15-20, I Corinthians 5:1-5, and other related New Testament passages.

 

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The following procedure shall be followed under the direction of the Pastor(s) and the Board of Elders.

 

Section 1. Communicant Membership - Termination

 

A.     Transfers. A member desiring transfer to another Lutheran congregation shall apply to the Pastor. Upon approval by the Pastor and the Board of Elders, a letter of transfer shall be issued by the Pastor. The Board of Elders shall report all transfers to the congregation via the Votersí Assembly at the next regular meeting of the body.

 

B.     Joining Other Churches. In cases where communicant members of this congregation have joined a non-Lutheran congregation, they shall, upon the decision of the Pastor(s) and the Board of Elders, be deemed to have terminated their membership in this congregation, forfeiting all rights and privileges of such membership. Their name(s) shall be reported to the congregation via the Votersí Assembly at the next regular meeting of that body, and upon ratification be removed from the membership list of the congregation.

 

C.     Whereabouts Unknown. The names of members whose whereabouts are unknown and cannot be established within a period of six months shall be reported to the congregation via the next regular meeting of the Votersí Assembly for termination.

 

D.     Self Exclusion. A member shall be declared to have excluded himself from Bethesda Lutheran Church when he willfully neglects worship & the means of grace which the Lord offers through this congregation. Christian care and concern for the spiritual well-being of this individual will be monitored by the Board of Elders and the Pastor(s) (e.g. worship/communion attendance) at their monthly meetings. The Board of Elders will follow the process described in Matthew 18 in shepherding this individual and review of progress will be made at the Board of Eldersí meetings. If the member willfully refuses evangelical admonition and encouragement he will be removed from the active roster of the congregation by Self Exclusion.

 

E.      Excommunication. Excommunication is the authority granted to the congregation by Christ to lovingly and patiently discipline an individual caught up in manifest and unrepentant sin. It is the purpose of excommunication to lead an individual to repentance and faith. The Board of Elders and Pastor(s) are responsible to follow the loving process found in Matthew 18 for all cases of excommunication.

 

 

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Cases of Excommunication will be brought to the Voting Assembly by recommendation of the Board of Elders. Individuals affected will be invited and encouraged to attend the Votersí Meeting at which excommunication will be applied. A 2/3 majority of those votersí present will be required for a declaration of excommunication to be valid. Any individual who has been excommunicated will be personally notified by registered mail.

 

Being removed by self-exclusion or excommunication releases the individual from all responsibilities to this congregation, but it also excludes the member from privileges of church membership, such as Christian burial, Holy Communion, transfer to a sister congregation, and of any claim against the properties of this congregation.

 

SUCH PERSONS, HOWEVER, WILL AT ALL TIMES BE CORDIALLY WELCOME TO ATTEND ALL DIVINE SERVICES IN OUR CHURCH.

 

Persons who have been removed from membership by self-exclusion or excommunication shall be restored with all rights and privileges when they repent and ask forgiveness through the Board of Elders. These acts of restoration shall be reported to the voters of the congregation. The congregation must forgive and, with joy, receive those who repent back into full fellowship.

 

Section 2. Provisions Pertaining to Church Officers and Directors

 

Any elected officer of the congregation who willfully neglects the duties of his office may be deposed by a two-thirds majority vote of the Voting Members present in a regular meeting of the Votersí Assembly. The Board of Elders shall initiate such disciplinary action. When an office is made vacant by deposition, resignation, death or excommunication of the incumbent, a successor to such officer or director shall be elected by the Voting Membership at the next meeting.

 

Section 3. Provisions Pertaining to Pastors and Teachers

 

Sufficient grounds for deposing a Pastor or duly called or contracted teacher shall be persistent adherence to false doctrine, scandalous life and willful neglect of official duties or evidence and protracted incapacity to perform the function of the sacred office. Charges on any of these counts shall be carefully investigated by the Board of Elders or in the case of a teacher, by the Bethesda Lutheran School Board in consultation with the appropriate officers of the South Dakota District. Should such charges be substantiated by clear evidence, the individual involved shall first be given an opportunity to resign his position in the congregation. Such opportunity having been given and declined, the above mentioned Board of Boards

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shall notify the Voting Membership of the situation, and shall submit the matter for action at a special meeting of that body. A three-fourths majority vote of the Voting Members present, shall be required to depose a Pastor or teacher.

 

Should the occasion to depose a Pastor or teacher ever arise, the intended deposition shall be announced by the Director of the Board of Elders at regular divine services on the two Sundays preceding a special meeting of the Voting Members called for that purpose. All Voting Members shall be notified by mail at least two weeks in advance.

 

ARTICLE IV: MEETINGS OF THE CONGREGATION

 

Section 1. Regular Meetings

 

Regular meetings of the Voting Membership will normally be held four (4) times during each calendar year in January, April, September and November. Elections for the Bethesda Lutheran School Board will take place at the April Votersí meeting. Elections for all other boards will normally be at the September meeting and the November meeting of the Votersí Assembly shall include the consideration and acceptance of the budget for the following year. Dates and times of all Votersí Meetings shall be set by the Church Council.

 

Every meeting of the Voting Membership shall be announced at the worship services on the two Sundays preceding the date of the meeting.

 

All communicant members of the congregation may attend the meetings of the Votersí Assembly and may, with the consent of the Voting Membership submit recommendations, or participate in a discussion of any given item of business before the Voting Membership.

 

Section 2. Special Meetings

 

Special meetings of the Votersí Membership may be called by the Board of Elders, the Pastor(s), at the request of any one of the Administrative Boards, or upon the written request of ten Voting Members of the congregation. Notice of the date and time of such a meeting, and of the nature of the business to be transacted, shall be given at the Sunday worship services immediately preceding the time of the meeting.

 

Section 3. Order of Business at Regular Meetings

 

Regular meetings of the Voting Membership shall follow Robertís Rules of Order and proceed as follows:

 

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              1.    Opening prayer and scripture reading.

              2.    Reception of new voting members, and release of voting members.

              3.    Applications for voting membership.

              4.    Reading and approval of minutes of the previous regular meeting and any special meetings held.

              5.    Recording of attendance by letting each one present write their name on a sheet of paper, the Secretary making the entries on the list after the session.

              6.    Announcement by the Pastor(s) of communicant membership changes since the previous regular meeting.

              7.    Report of officers and committees:

(a)    Treasurer

(b)    Financial Secretary

(c)    Board of Trustees

(d)    Board of Elders

(e)    Bethesda Lutheran School Board

(f)    Other Boards and Committees

              8.    Elections

              9.    Church discipline

           10.    Unfinished business

           11.    Recommendations of the Church Council

           12.    New Business

           13.    Adjournment with prayer

 

The President may, with the consent of the Voting Membership, vary the above order in the interests of efficiency.

 

All more important documents (for example: calls, letters addressed to the congregation of the called, credentials for Synodical delegates, documents in connection with discipline, citation before the Board of Elders or the congregation) are to be signed by the Board of Elders. Calls addressed to pastor(s) and teacher(s) must first be submitted to the congregation.

 

Section 4. Restriction Pertaining to Votersí Assembly Meetings

 

Attending Voting Members of a properly called Votersí Assembly meeting shall constitute a quorum, except as otherwise provided in these Articles of Incorporation and By-laws for dealing with certain specific situations herein defined.

 

In the event of a tie vote, the President may cast the deciding ballot. There shall be no voting by proxy.

 

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ARTICLE V: THE OFFICE OF THE PASTOR AND TEACHER

 

Section 1. Procedure for Securing a Pastor or Teacher

 

After consultation by the Board of Elders with the President of the South Dakota District or his representative, candidates for the pastorate shall be proposed at the next regular meeting of the Voting Membership or at a special meeting called for that purpose. In the case of a teacher, the Bethesda Lutheran School Board shall consult with the appropriate District representative and shall present a list of candidates in the same manner as described above. In either case, additional candidates may be proposed by any Voting Member at the meeting called to discuss the candidates. The Voters shall then adopt a list of candidates. At that meeting, or at a subsequent regular or special meeting of the Voting Membership, the Voters shall elect one of the proposed candidates by ballot and simple majority. It shall be the duty of the President to see that notice of the election is delivered promptly to the candidate in whatever manner the Voting Membership shall deem advisable.

 

Negotiations for contract teachers (new or renewal) shall be delegated to the Bethesda Lutheran School Board and such negotiations and the terms agreed to shall come before the Voting Membership for approval in regular meeting assembled.

 

Section 2. The Pastoral Office

 

The Pastoral Office is the authority conferred upon pastors by God, through a call of the congregation (the holder of the priesthood and of all congregational authority) to exercise in public office the common rights of spiritual priesthood in behalf of all. The Pastoral Office is the primary office in the congregation from which all other offices of the congregation issue. However, the congregation may establish as many auxiliary offices as its needs require and determine what work is to be assigned to such offices.

 

Upon being installed, the pastor is authorized and obligated to proclaim to the congregation, jointly and severally, the Word of God it its full truth and purity as contained in the canonical writings of the Old and New Testaments and professed in the Book of Concord of the year 1580. He is further:

 

To administer the sacraments in accordance with their divine institution;

 

To discharge toward all members of the congregation the functions of a minister and curate of their souls in an evangelical manner, in particular to visit the sick and the dying and admonish indifferent and erring members;

 

To spiritually guard the welfare of the younger members of the congregation and adults during their preparation for acceptance of Holy Communion;

 

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To guide the congregation in applying the divinely ordained discipline of the church;

 

To provide spiritual leadership and oversight in the educational agencies and the various adult and youth organizations within the congregation;

 

To serve as an example by Christian conduct and to do all that is possible for the upbuilding of the congregation and for the advancement of the Kingdom of Christ. By reason of his position the pastor is not only a servant and steward of God, but also of the congregation. The pastor(s) shall have the authority and responsibility for supervising the musical portion of all worship services in conjunction with the Board of Elders so that it is at all times in harmony with the doctrine and practice of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod as long as it conforms to Article 2 of these Articles of Incorporation.

 

Members of the congregation are obligated to accord the pastor(s) honor, love and obedience in his ministry of Godís Word, and to support his ministrations with diligence and faithful prayers; to help him in the discharge of his duties by cordial one-mindedness, by willing readiness, by peaceable conduct, and in every other way possible; and to provide for his maintenance according to the ability of the congregation.

 

In calling a pastor to preach the Word of God and to administer the sacraments on their behalf, the members of the congregation exercise their royal priesthood and by no means relinquish it. This is the privilege and responsibility of all members of the Church.

 

Section 3. The Office of Teacher and Principal

 

The office of a called teacher is the authority conferred upon a teacher by God, through a call of the congregation, to perform the duties of the office in all its parts according to the Word of God and the needs of the congregation.

 

Upon being installed, a called teacher is authorized and obligated to instruct and train the children under his care diligently and faithfully in the Word of God as contained in the Canonical books of the Old and New Testaments and confessed in the Confessional Writings of the Lutheran Church, and found in the Book of Concord of 1580, and to base such instruction on Lutherís Small Catechism; to accord them also a thorough Christian education in branches of learning prescribed by a source of study adopted or approved by the congregation; to maintain Christian discipline in the school and to this end employ such means as are in accord with the Holy Scripture and within the bounds of Christian reason and justice.

 

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To serve the congregation as an example of Christian conduct, to endeavor earnestly to live in brotherly unity with the pastor(s) and fellow teachers, to work under the supervision of the pastor(s), principal, and Bethesda Lutheran School Board, and, by the grace of God, to do everything possible within the sphere of his calling towards the promotion of the school and for the general advancement of the Kingdom of Christ, both locally and generally.

 

To perform such other offices as are in the interest of Christian Education and to the welfare of church and school and as have been mutually agreed upon, as the circumstances of the congregation may require and as time and ability may permit.

 

Members of the congregation are obligated to receive the teacher as servant of the Word, to honor and love him as such, to keep our children in true Christian submission to this rule and training, and to support his work among us with diligent, faithful assistance and prayer.

 

To render the discharge of his duties pleasant for him by a peaceable conduct and in every other possible way, to encourage him by work and deed, to aid him with the maintenance of Christian discipline in school, and in love and respect; and to provide for him maintenance according to the ability of the congregation.

 

The duties of the Principal are to supervise the total spiritual and academic program of Bethesda Lutheran School, promote a Christian learning environment for the children in the school, supervise the students, faculty, school staff and volunteers, activities, programs, and events, and all other responsibilities as assigned by the Voters of Bethesda Lutheran Church and/or the Bethesda Lutheran School Board

 

ARTICLE VI: ELECTION OF OFFICERS AND ADMINISTRATIVE BOARDS

 

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Section 1. Nomination Procedure

 

At the January meeting of the Voting Membership, the Church Council shall announce its selection of three (3) qualified Voting Members who, together with the Pastor, shall serve as the Nominating Committee. At this meeting, the Voters may submit to the Committee the names of possible candidates for office.

 

The Nominating Committee, as soon after the January meeting as possible, shall prepare a list of candidates for the Bethesda Lutheran School Board.  The Board shall consist of at least six (6) elected members, of which not more than one-third can be non-member parents who have, or will have in the coming school year, children attending Bethesda Lutheran School.  The remainder of the Board shall be comprised of voting members of the congregation who are eighteen (18) years of age or over, either male or female, and from the list submitted by the Voters at the January meeting. This list shall then be made available to communicant members of the congregation at least three weeks prior to the April meeting. The Bethesda
Lutheran School Board elections will take place at the April meeting, ahead of the other elections, so that Board membersí terms coincide with the school year. The President of the School Board will be appointed by the members of the school board. The President may only succeed himself twice.

 

After the April Votersí meeting the Nominating Committee shall prepare a list of candidates for all other offices of Bethesda Lutheran Church. Drawn from among voting members of the congregation who are eighteen (18) years of age or over, either male or female. This list shall then be made available to communicant members of the congregation at least three weeks prior to the September meeting. Only male voting members shall be eligible as candidates for membership on the Board of Elders and hold the offices of President and Vice-president. Nominations for the Director of Evangelism, Parish Education, Youth Ministry, Stewardship, and Trustee Boards must be selected either from the present Director (unless he has succeeded himself twice) or from the appointed members of that Board. If there are no eligible Voting Members available from that Board, nominations would be taken from the Votersí Assembly.

 

The Nominating Committee, through consultation with the Pastor(s) and the Board of Elders, shall have reviewed the status of the proposed candidates and found them spiritually eligible for office and willing to serve.

 

At least one week before the date of the April meeting the Nominating Committee shall post conspicuously on the church bulletin board the list of candidates for the Lutheran School Board and one week prior to the September meeting, the Nominating Committee shall post conspicuously on the church bulletin board the list of candidates for the following offices: President, Vice-president, Secretary, Treasurer, Head Usher, and all other elected officers.

 

Section 2. Election Procedure

 

From the list of candidates for each elective office submitted by the Nominating Committee and any names proposed from the floor, the Voting Membership shall, at the April voters meeting, elect by ballot and simple majority, officers of the Bethesda Lutheran School Board and at the September meeting, elect by ballot and simple majority, the following officers in the order herein indicated:

 

              1.    A President

              2.    A Vice-president

              3.    A secretary

              4.    A treasurer

              5.    Board of Elders (must consist of at least five including a Director)

              6.    A Head Usher

              7.    Director of the Board of Trustees

              8.    If deemed necessary by the Votersí Assembly, Directors fro any of the following Boards:  Evangelism, Parish Education, Youth Ministry, Stewardship and Others.

 

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Section 3. Appointed Officers

 

All Administrative Board Members, excluding the Directors, Board of Elders, and Bethesda Lutheran School Board, will be recommended from the communicant membership for appointment by the Director of that Board after seeking approval from the Church Council. The determination of the number of members required on each Board shall be an annual function of the Church Council and shall be decided no later than the March meeting of that body.

 

Any appointed Board Members who willfully neglects the duties of his position may be subject to removal by the Church Council resulting from a recommendation by the Board Director, with a replacement Board Member being appointed by the Board Director for the remainder of the unfilled term.

 

Section 4. Installation of Officers - Term of Office

 

The newly elected officers of the Bethesda Lutheran School Board shall be installed on the Sunday prior to the ending of the school year. Bethesda Lutheran School Board Members will serve one 3-year term of office with no more than 1/2 being elected in any year. Terms shall begin on August 1 and end on July 31.

 

All other newly elected officers of the congregation shall be installed on the second Sunday of January, and shall assume their duties of office. The term of office of all officers and directors, elected by the Votersí Assembly, shall be one year and they may succeed themselves in the same position only twice. Board of Elders will serve one 3-year term of office with no more than 1/2 being elected in any year. Appointed Board Members are appointed for one-year terms and they may serve no more than three consecutive terms on the same board.

 

Section 5. Vacancy in an Office

 

Should an office be vacated due to resignation, death, transfer or removal, the Church Council is empowered to fill such vacancy, subject to ratification by the Voting Membership at its next regular meeting. The officer so appointed shall at once take possession of the office until the next regular election, when a successor shall be elected for the unexpired term.

 

ARTICLE VII. DUTIES OF OFFICERS - FUNCTIONS, POWERS, ORGANIZATION OF ADMINISTRATIVE BOARDS AND THE PARISH PLANNING COUNCIL.

 

Section 1. Duties of Officers

 

The President of the Congregation shall preside at all meetings of the Voting Membership. He shall, to the best of his ability, enforce the Articles of

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Incorporation and By-laws of the congregation and carry out the expressed will of the congregation as embodied in the resolutions of the Voting Membership. All Boards, committees, auxiliaries, groups, etc., in the congregation shall be responsible to the President, and he shall be welcome at any and all meetings of such groups, either in person or as represented by such person or persons as he may appoint.

 

He shall also call the meetings of the Church Council and shall endeavor to coordinate the functions, plans and activities of the congregation in all its parts for the total furtherance of the work of Christís Kingdom in our midst.

 

The President, along with the Secretary, shall serve as legal representative of the congregation.

 

The President shall appoint an Auditing Committee consisting of any two qualified communicant members of the congregation other than the Treasurer and Financial Secretary to audit the financial records of the congregation. The President shall submit the Audit Committeeís report at the January meeting of the voting Membership each year.

 

The Vice-president of the congregation in the absence of the President, shall act for and in the stead of the President. He shall be available for whatever duties the President shall assign to him as his representative. The Vice-president shall serve as chairman of the Church Council.

 

The Secretary shall be present at all Voterís meetings of the congregation and at all meetings of the Church Council and shall enter the minutes of all meetings of said groups in a permanent record book over his signature. He shall conduct all official correspondence of the congregational Boards and committees under the supervision of the President. In general he shall perform all the duties normally pertaining to his office and such additional duties as the Voting Membership may delegate to him.

 

The Secretary, along with the President, shall serve as legal representatives of the congregation.

 

The Treasurer shall receive all moneys of the congregation and disburse all moneys received; be responsible for accurate recording of congregational receipts and disbursements; submit permanent financial records for annual audit and all other responsibilities as assigned by the Votersí of Bethesda Lutheran Church.

 

Section 3. The Church Council

 

The Church Council shall consist of the Pastor(s), the President, the Vice-President, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the Head Usher, and the Directors of the

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seven Administrative Boards, and a representative from the Board of Elders, all of whom will hold membership on the Church Council until their term of office expires. The Principal of Bethesda Lutheran School will serve as an advisory member of the Church Council, being invited to attend Church Council meetings but not having the right to vote. The Vice-President shall act as the chairman of the Church Council. It shall be the specific functions of the Church Council to:

 

              1.    Serve as the point of liaison between the Pastor(s), the Officers of the congregation, and the various Administrative Boards in planning the total work of the congregation.

              2.    Settle jurisdictional disputes between the several Administrative Boards.

              3.    Present to the Votersí Assembly at its January meeting a yearly plan of activity for the entire congregation as well as long-range plans for the development and expansion of Christís work in our midst.

              4.    Prepare the agenda for the four (4) meetings of the Votersí Assembly.

              5.    Set dates and times for the Votersí Assembly meetings.

              6.    Appoint the Nominating Committee as required and at the time required.

              7.    Fill unexpired terms or shortages of personnel by appointment.

              8.    Determine the number of members required on each Board no later than the March meeting.

              9.    After receiving recommendations from the various Board Directors, approve appointments to the boards.

 

The Church Council shall normally meet in March, June, August, October and December. Additional meetings may be called by the President of the congregation and/or the Pastor(s) as required.

 

The Church Council is not primarily a decision-making body but serves as a forum where the activities of the Administrative Boards may be discussed, evaluated and coordinated, and where all such activities may be integrated into an overall congregational program. The Church Council shall be available at all times, however, for any additional functions which the Voting Membership may wish to confer upon it.

 

The Church Council shall keep a permanent set of minutes for each meeting, and such minutes shall be the property of the congregation.

 

Section 4. The Administrative Boards

 

A.     General Duties and Powers of Administrative Boards

 

Each Administrative Board shall submit a report of its activities at each regular meeting of the Voting Membership, and upon such other occasions as the Voting Membership shall require. Such reports shall include any specific recommendations for congregational action and/or approval.

 

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Each Administrative Board shall initiate and carry out such activities and programs within the congregation as will enable it to effectively perform the functions and duties assigned to it by the Constitution and By-laws, or by specific resolution of the Voting Membership.

 

Each Administrative Board shall be empowered to administer all funds set aside for its work by budget appropriation or by special resolution of the Votersí Assembly, provided that the Voting Membership may, at its discretion, restrict such expenditures to conform with the actual financial condition of the congregation at any given time. Each Administrative Board shall be jointly and severally liable for all expenditures not authorized either by the budget or by special resolution of the congregation.

 

Each Administrative Board shall keep a permanent set of minutes for each meeting, and such minutes shall be the property of the congregation.

 

B.     Organization and Meeting of Administrative Boards

 

Each Administrative Board shall be under the direct control and supervision of the Director of that Board. Following the election of the Director of each Board, he shall designate and appoint from among the Board members at his own discretion those individuals who are to be responsible for various phases of the work of that Board. Such appointments are to be made within two weeks of the date of his election and notification of such appointments is to be given to the President of the Congregation for publication to the members in the manner he deems most advisable.

 

Administrative boards shall meet regularly. For good and sufficient reason, either the President of the Congregation, Director, or the Pastor(s) may call a meeting of a Board at any time. Meetings thus called shall be classified as special meetings, and each person involved shall be notified of the date, time and purpose of such a meeting.

 

In order to conduct official business of the Bethesda Lutheran School Board, 50% or more of this entire Board must be in attendance.

 

The Board of Elders

(Ephesians 4:12-13)

The nature of the duties of this Board requires that only men noted for their Christian knowledge, zeal and experience in the spiritual work of the Kingdom of Christ shall be elected to membership. The Board shall consist of at least five (5) members, including the Director of the Board.

 

The basic goals of this Board are the spiritual welfare of the Pastor(s) and congregation members, individually and corporately, the supervision of everything

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pertaining to congregational worship, and all other responsibilities as assigned by the Votersí of Bethesda Lutheran Church.

 

The Board of Evangelism

(Matthew 28:19-20)

The Board of Evangelism shall consist of at least three (3) members, including the Director of the Board.

 

The basic goals of this Board are the bringing of the Gospel to the unchurched, the enlistment of all of Godís people in the work of spreading the Gospel, the deepening of the faith and activity of the members of this congregation, proper soul-accounting at all times and other responsibilities as assigned by the Votersí of Bethesda Lutheran Church.

 

Bethesda Lutheran School Board

(II Timothy 3:14-17)

The Bethesda Lutheran School Board shall consist of at least six (6) elected members, including the President of the School Board. The School Board shall choose its own President annually.

 

The basic goals of this Board are to govern the educational programs for the Christian Day School, determine policies, provide the necessary means and facilities for the school, to direct and supervise the administrator of the Christian Day School and other responsibilities as assigned by the Votersí of Bethesda Lutheran Church.

 

The Board of Parish Education

(John 21:15-17)

The Board of Parish Education shall consist of at least three (3) members, including the director of the Board.

 

The basic goals of this Board are to plan and administer the total educational programs for Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Released Time, Bible Studies, and Confirmation Classes, including the provision for the necessary means and facilities as well as the direction and supervision of the educational programs of the congregation and other responsibilities as assigned by the Votersí of Bethesda Lutheran Church..

 

The Board of Youth Ministry

(Ecclesiastes 11:9)

The Board of Youth Ministry shall consist of at least three (3) members.

 

The basic goals of this Board are to involve the youth of the congregation in the work of Christ, provide for their spiritual growth and nurture, to promote genuine

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Christian fellowship for the youth of the congregation and other responsibilities as assigned by the Votersí of Bethesda Lutheran Church.

 

The Board of Stewardship

(II Corinthians 9:7)

The Board of Stewardship shall consist of at least three (3) members.

 

The basic goals of this Board are to initiate programs for the development of good stewardship attitudes in the members of the congregation in regard to time, talents, and treasures, to provide for the training and utilization of members of the congregation for the work of Christís Kingdom, to ensure the financial stability of the congregation and its work through a developed program of dedicated, proportionate, first-fruits giving and other responsibilities as assigned by the Votersí of Bethesda Lutheran Church..

 

Financial Secretary

The Director of Stewardship shall appoint a Financial Secretary from among the Board Members. The Financial Secretary shall be responsible for the accurate counting, recording and depositing of all receipts for the congregation in a local financial institution or institutions and to that end shall enlist a staff of recording secretaries and a Finance Committee. The recording secretaries shall record all the contributions by members for whatever purpose and shall notify the Board of stewardship and the Pastor(s) concerning contributions by non-members. The Finance Committee shall be responsible, under the direction of the Financial Secretary, for the prompt counting of Sunday and other receipts and other responsibilities as assigned by the Votersí of Bethesda Lutheran Church.

 

The Board of Trustees

(I Corinthians 14:40)

The Board of Trustees shall consist of at least three (3) members. The basic goals of this Board are the proper maintenance and repair of church property, the general protection of the congregation against loss or damage of whatever nature and other responsibilities as assigned by the Votersí of Bethesda Lutheran Church.

 

ARTICLE VIII: AMENDMENTS

These By-laws may be amended at any meeting of the Voting Membership by a simple majority vote, provided:

 

              1.    That a motion to submit for consideration such a proposal to amend has been made at a regular meeting of the Voting Membership.

 

              2.    That the entire Voting Membership has been advised of the nature of the proposed changes and of the date of the meeting at which the proposed amendment is to be acted upon at least fourteen (14) days in advance.

 

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All amendments to the By-laws or to the Articles of Incorporation shall be recorded in the official copy of the Articles of Incorporation and By-laws in the possession of the current Secretary of the Congregation.

 

These By-laws to the Articles of Incorporation of Bethesda Lutheran Church, Hot Springs, South Dakota were adopted by a two-thirds majority of a quorum of voters present at Votersí Assembly meeting on November 21, 2000.

 

These By Laws were reviewed and accepted by the South Dakota District Board of Directors at their regular meeting on August 6, 2001

 

 

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