This is my search section here
Header Image

Articles

Constitution & Bylaw Ratification

04.19.15 | News

Constitution & Bylaw Ratification

    At our Annual Congregational Meeting on May 17 there will be at least three items that will require votes: our 2015-2016 annual budget, election of new or returning elders, and the ratification of changes made to our Constitution last year. This ratification requires four weeks notice according to our constitution and bylaws. Continue reading for the amendments we voted to ratify.

    SUMMARY

    There are four Constitutional Amendments to be ratified.

    Amendment # 1:  To change the wording of the first sentence of Article II - Purpose
    The proposed wording:  Our purpose, as High Point Church, is to make disciples of Jesus by engaging and equipping people with the Gospel.  
     
    Amendment # 2:  To change the wording of a phrase in our version of the Apostle’s Creed
    The proposed wording:  the holy catholic church
     
    Amendment # 3:  To clarify and make more precise, but not change the meaning of Article V - Church Government, mostly by bullet pointing the five items therein
     
    Amendment # 4:  To clarify and make more precise and detailed Article VII - Amendments to the Constitution and By-laws 
     
    Ratification of Amendments # 3 and 4 will also eliminate duplicate wording in our By-laws.

    OVERVIEW 

    Proposed ratification of four changes made to our Constitution (using the numbering of these proposed changes as they were voted on in February 2014)
     
    These four ratification votes will occur 15 months after the corresponding initial amendment votes.  This is happening because the Board of Elders failed to prepare in time to meet the four- and two-week notice requirements for Constitutional amendments.  In that case, we believed that not giving the congregation proper notice would be  clearly detrimental to the integrity of the process.  In this case, we believe that the “12 month later” requirement guards against too hasty ratification of a Constitutional change. The congregation may take issue with our belief, even to the point of voting to require the process start all over.
     

    PROPOSED AMENDMENT ONE:  To change the wording of the first sentence of Article II - Purpose

    The proposed wording:  Our purpose, as High Point Church, is to make disciples of Jesus by engaging and equipping people with the Gospel.  
     
    The previous wording:  Our purpose, as High Point Church, is Extending Christ’s grace to all, one person at a time.
     
    Justification:  Jesus told us to “make disciples” in His last (Great) Commission.
     
    The unchanged rest of Article II:  Our purpose statement is a crucial theological and practical statement that all members of the congregation are called to minister the Gospel through their proclamation and way of life.

    NOT PROPOSED AMENDMENT TWO:  To eliminate a phrase in our version of the Apostles Creed

    The phrase:  He descended into hell (hades)
     
    Note:  This proposed elimination was voted down last year and is not on the ballot tonight.
     

    PROPOSED AMENDMENT THREE:  To change the wording of a phrase in our version of the Apostle’s Creed

    The proposed wording:  the holy catholic church
     
    The previous wording:  the holy Christian church
     
    Justification:  Since “catholic” means “universal” and “catholic” is historically the word used in the Apostle’s Creed to express universality, we return to the both historical and accurate phrase. 
     

    PROPOSED AMENDMENT FOUR:  To clarify and make more precise, but not change the meaning of Article V - Church Government 

    The unchanged beginning of Article V:  High Point Church has a congregational  form of governance.  The voting members of the congregation are the voting members of the corporation.
     
    The proposed wording:  The congregation reserves authorization of the following items to itself:
      1.  an annual general fund budget of giving, other income and expenditures
      2.  unbudgeted expenditures that individually or in the aggregate amount, increase total general fund expenditures by more than two percent over the current general fund expenditure budget
      3. approval of any increase in debt
      4. election of elders and calling of pastoral staff
      5. consideration of other matters as the voting members may determine from time to time
    The previous wording:  The congregation reserves to itself 
    adoption of an annual budget, authorizing unbudgeted expenditures that individually or in the aggregate amount, increase expenditures by more than two percent over the approved budget, approving any increases in debt, electing elders, calling pastoral staff and other matters as it may determine from time to time.
     
    Justification:  Clarity and precision
     
    Note:  Ratification of this proposed change will eliminate identical language in Section 1 of Article IV -  Congregation and its Leadership in the By-laws.  The language in Section 1 that would remain is as follows:  Delegation of Responsibilities:  High Point Church has a congregational form of governance.  The voting members of the congregation are the voting members of the corporation  The congregation reserves to itself roles as defined in the Constitution (see Article V).
     

    PROPOSED AMENDMENT FIVE:  To clarify and make more precise and detailed Article VII - Amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws

    The proposed wording:  The Constitution and By-laws will be reviewed at least every 5 years by a committee appointed by the Elders.  The Constitution and By-laws Review Committee is intended to represent a cross-section of the congregation with respect to factors such as age, family status, gender, ministry involvement, and length of membership in the church.  The committee will report its findings to the Board of Elders with any recommendations for revision or updating.  The Board of Elders will consider this report and take further actions as deemed appropriate.
     
    The Board of Elders will oversee the process for review and consideration of comments prior to the approval and ratification votes on amendments.  The Constitution and By-laws may be amended at a special meeting of the congregation called for that purpose, or at any regular meeting provided that a statement of the proposed amendment and reason for change is given to the congregation on at least two occasions, the first being four weeks, and the second being two weeks, prior to the meeting.  Final ratification of Constitutional amendments will occur on a second vote 12 months later.  Both approval and ratification votes must have a two-thirds majority vote of the voting members present with a quorum being present.
     
    Following a congregational vote which ratifies an amendment to the Constitution, the amendment will become effective through the dated signature of true Chairman of the Board of Elders (or designee).  The ratification date will be included in the signed and published version of the Constitutional amendment.
     
    Following a congregational vote which approves an amendment to the By-laws, the amendment will become effective through the dated signature of true Chairman of the Board of Elders (or designee).  The approval date will be included in the signed and published version of the  amendment.
     
    The previous wording:  This constitution may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of the voting members present at a special meeting of the congregation called for that purpose, or at any regular meeting provided that a statement of the proposed amendment is given to the congregation on at least two occasions, the first being four weeks, and the second being two weeks, prior to the meeting.  Final ratification will occur on a second vote 12 months later.
     
    Justification:  Clarity, precision and greater detail for the amendment processes
     
    Note:  Ratification of this proposed change will eliminate the identical language of Article X of the By-laws. 
     
     Questions about constitution ratifications? Email Bill Taylor at