Council President Paul Jacobsen and Pastor Steve are in the process of drafting changes to the current Lord of Life constitution. In part, this is taking place in response to changes that the ELCA has made to the model constitution that pertain to the combining of several separate lay positions into one position called “deacon”. Within our denomination, when changes are made to the ELCA model constitution these changes need to be incorporated into any new edits of the a congregation’s constitution. The changes made by the ELCA will not substantively change how Lord of Life operates.
A second reason (and the underlying driver for this effort) is to move from a static structure of teams that are “fixed in constitutional concrete” as bylaws to a flexible structure that are described in continuing resolutions that are modifiable by the church council as the congregational needs.
Accompanying this flexible approach to teams, the role of the council members will change radically as well. Instead of each Team Director taking a fixed position on the church council, making the council a collection of 10 members plus four officers and the pastors, the 10 members will be replaced by four council members who will take adaptable roles. Currently those roles are to focus on the congregation’s in-reach, out-reach, up-reach (toward Christ), and our structural foundation (finances and mission support). These four council members each embody a different aspect of our congregation’s mission statement and these council roles can change as the congregation’s mission changes.
In order to achieve this change, we intend to present a set of bylaws that removes the fixed structure of the teams and replaces them with similarly worded continuing resolutions. The key difference between what is currently in effect and what will be presented is that while bylaws require a vote of 2/3rds of the congregational membership at a congregational meeting…continuing resolutions only require a 2/3rds vote of the church council.
This will empower the council to mold the structure to the needs of the congregation at any given time. If you have any questions, Pastor Steve or Council President Paul Jacobsen will be glad to answer them. Stay tuned.