We have just posted our new proposed Bylaws. Copies will be available on Sunday, but you can download them here. We will be having a special business meeting on November 9 to pray together and vote on these Bylaws. Here’s a letter from the pastors about the process thus far as well as the revisions that have been made:
Back in the spring, the elders released a draft of a new set of church bylaws, in order to put something “on the table” that the other members of the church could consider and help us evaluate. After releasing the proposed polity, we were able to continue healthy conversation with many people who asked great questions, offered helpful critique, and provided valuable suggestions for how we could sharpen the document.
So back in May, we decided to put the process of formally proposing a new mode of church governance on hold for a few months. This postponement was motivated by a desire to have further conversation with the congregation. We realized that we needed more time to share our heart and reasoning behind the proposed shifts (through avenues such as the current sermon series), but also to adequately listen to the input of the rest of the congregation on this very important matter.
In these months that have followed, we’ve decided to make some adjustments to the polity that we are proposing to the church. Most of the document is exactly the same as it was back in the spring. For those that were not able to read through the document back then, we’d encourage you to do so now. But for those who already have looked through the previous version of the document, we wanted to point you more specifically to the modifications that have been made to the document so you could look at those without having to comb through the entirety of the document once again.
So, here are the sections and corresponding page numbers that have content that is significantly different from the previous draft:
- Article III, Section 1 (pages 5-9): added biblical references to the Statement of Faith; changed “Sacraments” to “Ordinances”
- Article III, Section 2 (page 9): added a sentence to speak clearly in regards to the rise of “transgender” issues
- Article VI, Section 7 (page 14): removed the phrase “or for other reasons subject to the Board of Elders” in the last sentence…see similar a similar modification in Article XI, Section 5 (page 29)
- Article VI, Section 12 (page 15): added new section about the formation and responsibilities of a Feedback Committee
- Article VII, Introduction (page 15): added a sentence to express the fact that all elders bear the same essential office
- Article VII, Section 4 (page 16): added a section about the prevention of nepotism
- Article VII, Section 9 (page 20): updated this section to reflect the heart behind the commitment to confidentiality in regards to decisions made by the elders
- Article VIII, Section 8 (Page 24): added a statement about a simple form of the minutes of elders meetings being available to members upon request
- Article X, Section 1 (page 27): added “being on a sabbatical” as a legitimate reason for a temporary leave from the responsibilities of being an elder
- Article XII, Section 2 (page 31): added a new section about the “process of resolving congregational concern regarding the eldership” and how situations would be handled in which a broad range of the membership of the church has significant concern about the Elder board as a whole.
As we look ahead to November 9th, which will be the date on which we vote about whether to ratify this new set of bylaws, we would encourage you to thoughtfully and prayerfully consider the proposal. And if you have any questions or concerns that have yet to be addressed or that remain unresolved in your mind, please speak to one of us.Thanks for your care and for your thoughtful engagement on these important matters! We pray that these changes, should they take effect, will make for a healthier mode of operating for all of us—and help us be even better set up to participate in the mission God has called us to together.
– Your CCC elders