Letter from the Council President:
Dear Fellow Members of Saint Matthew:
The Congregation Council on April 20, 2015 approved a motion as follows: “The Congregation Council of Saint Matthew Lutheran Church recommends the Congregation approve the adoption of the proposed, amended Constitution at the Semi-Annual Congregation Meeting on June 7, 2015.”
Our current constitution, last revised in May 2006, required updating as a result of the amendments to the ELCA Model Constitution made by previous ELCA Church-wide Assemblies dating back to 2003. The majority of the amendments are ELCA-required and do not lend themselves to change by a congregation. However, some of the changes are non-required, which may be amended by a congregation with Synod approval. ELCA congregations are encouraged to incorporate the amendments into their church constitution as expediently as possible so that, should it become necessary for a congregation to act on business requiring Synod participation or deal with internal matters, we are all following the same process and procedures.
The Congregation Council is recommending certain changes to the non-required sections because they provide a measure of flexibility in conducting routine business or are more specific in areas that were either out of date or not well defined. These sections may be amended by the congregation with a 2/3 vote of the voting members present at a properly called congregation meeting.
Thirty days prior to the June 7, 2015 Semi-Annual Congregation Meeting, we are making available the Proposed Amended Constitution including a document that outlines the reasons for our proposed changes to the non-required sections.
Last year at the June semi-annual meeting, the congregation voted to postpone a vote for approval until additional time was allocated for the congregation to familiarize themselves with all the changes. As a result, five (5) Adult Forums were conducted in the fall and winter of 2014 for that purpose giving the congregation ample opportunity to review all the proposed changes and ask questions to gain a full understanding of the nature of the changes. As a result, three minor additional changes were made for consistency & clarity (two in C10.04 & one in C11.01).
Please take time to review the documents prior to the June 7, 2015 semi-annual congregation meeting. The Congregation Council asks you to give serious consideration to approving this amended constitution. Per the constitution, the document will be approved as is, or not approved. That is, changes cannot be made at this point in the process. If the congregation requires a change, then we will go through the process again, beginning with Council and then concluding at another congregational meeting.
Thanking God for the congregation’s trust,
President SMLC Congregation Council
On behalf of the Congregation Council