Constitution

Adopted 1954
Last Amended 2000

Constitution of Community Congregational Church
United Church of Christ
of Greenland, New Hampshire

Article 1. Name

The name of this Church shall be “The Community Congregational Church,” a member of
 the United Church of Christ.

Article 2. Purpose

The purpose of this Church shall be to maintain public services for the worship of God, the 
teaching and preaching of The Gospel, the administration of the New Testament ordinance
 and sacraments, and to exert as far as possible a Christian and moral influence in the
 Community and a Missionary spirit and testimony in the World at large.

Article 3. Faith

We believe in God, the Eternal Spirit, Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ and our Father, to
 whose deeds we testify. He calls the worlds into being, creates man in his own image and
 sets before him the ways of life and death. He seeks in holy love to save all people from
 aimlessness and sin. He judges men and nations by his righteous will declared through 
prophets and apostles. In Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Lord,
 he has come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin and death, and reconciling 
the world to himself. He bestows upon us his Holy Spirit, creating and renewing the
 Church of Jesus Christ, binding in covenant faithful people of all ages, tongues and races.
 He calls us into his Church to accept the cost and joy of discipleship, to be his servants in 
the service of men, to proclaim the Gospel to all the World and resist the powers of evil, to 
share in Christ’s baptism and eat at his table, to join him in his passion and victory. He 
promises to all who trust him forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace, courage in the
 struggle for justice and peace, his presence in trial and rejoicing, and eternal life in his 
kingdom which has no end. Blessing and Honor, Glory and Power be unto Him, Amen.

Article 4. Polity

We believe in freedom and responsibility of the individual soul, and the right of private 
judgment. We hold to the autonomy of the local church. We cherish the fellowship of the
 churches unit in district, state and national bodies for council and cooperation in matters of 
common concern, and gladly acknowledge our membership in the Rockingham Association
 of Congregational Christian Churches and Ministers of the United Church of Christ, and in
 the New Hampshire Conference of the United Church of Christ, and in the General Synod,
 The United Church of Christ. While affirming the liberty of our churches and the validity of
 our ministry, we hold to the unity and catholicity of the Church of Christ, and will consider
 uniting with all its branches and will earnestly seek, so far as in us lies, that the prayer of
 our Lord for his disciples may be answered, “That they may all be one.” We agree to
 maintain the institution of the Gospel, to submit ourselves to the orderly administration of
 the affairs of the church, and to walk together in brotherly love.

Article 5. Membership

Section A- Defining Membership

All persons who have received the Sacrament of Holy Baptism in this church (or having
 been baptized elsewhere into the Christian faith and whose families become full voting
 members), shall be considered members of it, and shall be entitled to all rights,
 responsibilities, and privileges as a member of this family of the Body of Christ, except for 
full voting rights as described below.
 The full voting membership of the Church shall exist of those who present satisfactory 
letters of transfer from other churches, confirm their baptismal covenants, or confess their
 Christian faith and receive baptism (where not previously baptized). All persons desiring to
become members of this Church shall be reported to the Church Council.
 The names of persons being recommended by the minister and the Church Council to 
become members of the church will be published in the Sunday Bulletin one week prior to 
their induction ceremony, with the understanding that any member having questions has 
adequate opportunity to discuss them with the Council or minister. The Public Worship
 Ministry Group shall then make plans with the minister for a Celebration of the Reception
of Members, or for a Celebration of Confirmation, said celebration to be held during a
regular service of public worship. Such persons shall become full voting members of the
 church, with all rights, responsibilities and privileges, upon their public assent and
 affirmation to its covenants. A college or ministerial student, upon request to the clerk, may,
 by vote of the Church, be granted a dual membership.

Section B- Termination of Membership

A] A member in good standing may on request and by vote of the Church Council be
 granted a letter of transfer and have his name removed from the rolls.

B] Members whose addresses are unknown or who for a period of two years, in spite
 of kindly reminders by the Church Council and who have not communicated with the
 church or contributed to its support, may be placed on an inactive list of the church upon 
the vote of the Church Council. If possible such persons will be notified of said action.

C] Should a member become an offense to the church and its good name, by reason of 
immoral or unchristian conduct or by persistent violation of covenant vows, the church may
 terminate membership, but only after due notice and hearing and after faithful effort has
 been made by the Church Council to bring the member to repentance and amendment.

D] The membership of no person shall be terminated (other than by the member’s 
request) except by vote of the Board of Church Council.

Section C- Restoration of Membership

Any person whose membership has been terminated, may for good and sufficient reasons
be restored on recommendation of the Church Council.

Section D- Duties and Rights

A] Duties- Members are expected to be faithful to all duties essential to the Christian 
life, to attend regularly the services of the church, to give systematically for its support and
 benevolences, to share in its organized work, and to seek diligently the spiritual welfare of
 the church and the winning of others to Christ.

B] Rights- Members in good standing may act and vote in all business meetings of the
Church, except items pertaining to financial matters which require that voting members be 
18 years of age or older.

Article 6. Administration

The officers and committees of this church shall be: Minister, Moderator, Clerk, Treasurer,
 Financial Secretary, Assistant Financial Secretary, Auditor, Superintendent of the Church 
School, Historian, Benevolence Treasurer, Church Council, Board of Trustees and the 
following Ministry Groups: Evangelism and Education, Public Worship, Mission Ministry,
 and Community Ministry. All of the members of the above committees and the officers 
shall be active members of the church. Persons elected to fill a vacated uncompleted term
 shall complete side term and be eligible for re-nomination for the additional full term after
which one year must elapse before becoming eligible for re-election.

Section A- Minister

The minister shall have the central place of leadership in all the affairs of the church. It shall 
be the Minister’s duty to preach the Word, to care for the stated services of public worship, 
to administer the Sacraments and rites, and to promote in all ways within his or her power
the spiritual welfare of the church. The Minister shall serve as an advisory member of all
 boards and committees. The Pastoral relation may be dissolved by either the Pastor or by
 vote of the church upon two months written notice of such intention unless another written 
instrument is in force.

Section B- Moderator

The Moderator shall be elected at the annual meeting to serve for one year and shall preside
 at the business meeting of the church.

Section C- Clerk

The Clerk shall keep a complete record of all business meetings of the church. The Clerk
 shall keep a register of the members of the church, with the dates of the reception and
 removal, record Baptisms, Marriages and Deaths, and make a full report to the church at its 
annual meeting, issue letters of transfer voted by the Church Council, preserve on file all
 documents and reports, notify all persons elected to office and to standing committees, and
 give legal notice of all meetings when such notice is necessary. The Clerk shall be elected at 
the annual meeting to serve for three years.

Section D- Treasurer

The Treasurer shall receive and disburse all current monies of the Church, and shall keep 
the Church accounts distinct form all other accounts, serve as an advisory member of the
 Church Council, shall make a monthly report of accounts to the Council, and make properly
 audited annual written reports of receipts and expenditures. The Treasurer shall be elected
 to a term of three years, commencing with the election of the Treasurer at the annual 
Congregational meeting in January 2000.

Section E- Financial Secretary

The Financial Secretary shall receive all church offerings, keep a record of all pledges and
 receipts, make regular deposits of church accounts, transmit the record to the Treasurer,
 submit an appropriate written report at the annual meeting, and shall be elected at the annual
 meeting to serve for three years.
 The Financial Secretary, with the concurrence of the Council, also shall be responsible for 
implementing, in consultation with the Steward, as well as with such other members of the
 Church as are appointed by the Church Council, the annual stewardship campaign of the
 Church and for developing the Church budget for presentation to the Congregation at the
 Church’s annual meeting. The Financial Secretary shall appoint, with the concurrence of the 
Church Council, a Memorial Secretary, who shall be responsible for the recording and
 acknowledgment of all memorial gifts to the Church, and an Assistant Financial Secretary
 who shall be responsible for aiding the Financial Secretary with receiving all church
 offerings, keeping a record of and acknowledging all pledges of financial support to the
 Church, making regular deposits into Church accounts, transmitting a record thereof to the
 Treasurer, and submitting the appropriate written report to the congregation at its annual 
meeting.

Section F- Benevolence Treasurer

The Benevolence Treasurer shall be appointed by the Church Council for a term of three
 years and shall be an ex-officio member of the Missions Ministry Group.

Section G- Auditor

The Auditor shall audit the accounts of the church and present a report to the church at the 
annual meeting and shall be elected at the annual meeting to serve for one year.

Section H- Superintendent(s) of Church School

The Superintendent(s) of the Church School shall direct the school and shall conduct its 
affairs upon such plans and with such methods as may be approved by the Education and
 Evangelism Ministry Group of which the Superintendent(s) shall be a member(s).

Section I- Steward

The Steward shall be the chair of Trustees and as such shall be responsible for the
 communication and coordination of the Trustees’ activities with the Church Council and the
 Congregation. In addition, the Steward shall consult with the Financial Secretary in
 developing and implementing the annual stewardship campaign of the church and
 developing the church’s budget.

Section K- Church Council

MEMBERS AND TERMS: The Church Council shall consist of nine elected members.
 The members shall be the Clerk, Treasurer, Steward, Financial Secretary, Member at Large,
 and the Chairs of the Public Worship, Education and Evangelism, Mission, and
 Community Ministry Groups. Members shall serve three-year terms and, with the
 exception of the Clerk and Treasurer, shall be eligible to serve no more than two
 consecutive terms without a break in service of at least one year. The minister shall be an
 ex-officio member, but shall not be entitled to vote in any Council action and may be
 excluded from any Executive Session of the Council by majority vote of the Council. The
 Council may also have members emeritus who shall also be non-voting members and shall
 be selected by the Council. Emeritus members shall serve at the discretion of the Council
 and may be excluded from any Executive Session of the Council by majority vote of the
 Council. Vacancies on the Council shall be filled by a majority vote of the remaining
 members of the Council electing a replacement member to fill the specific vacancy for the 
remainder of that position’s term. The Chair of the Council shall be the Member at Large.

ELECTION: Members of the Council shall be elected to three year terms, with three
 members to be elected at each annual meeting of the congregation. Members may serve no 
more than two consecutive terms, without a break in service of at least one year, except for 
the Clerk and Treasurer who may serve consecutive terms without any break in service.
 When vacancies are filled, the person elected shall complete the term for that position on the
 Council before commencing a new three-year term. Each member shall be a member of the
 Congregation and shall be nominated by either the Nominating Committee or from the floor
 of the Annual Meeting, or a meeting called for that purpose. There shall be a vote taken for
 each position on the Council, with the person receiving the highest number of votes from 
the Congregation for that position being elected to that position.

DUTIES: The Church Council shall serve at the direction of the Congregation. The Council
 members may act through vote of a majority of those present at any duly called meeting 
where a quorum is present, a quorum consisting of five members or more. The Council, 
among other things, shall be responsible for the long-range vision of the Church, and
 establishing and promoting the propagation of our Church’s mission in concert with the
 wishes of the Congregation. The Council shall oversee and coordinate the ministries and
 activities of the Church, specifically including the Ministry Groups whose chairs are
 members of the Council and the Trustees. It shall do so through regular meetings, which 
shall be open to members of the Congregation unless the Council is in Executive Session
 by a majority vote if its members. At its meetings, the Council will set the policies and
 direction of the Church between meetings of the Congregation, the Council shall empower
the Ministry Groups, Trustees, and committees of the Church to handle their specific duties 
consistent with the policies and directions set by the Congregation and the Council, and
 shall, whenever possible, delegate the specific decision making and operation of the
 Ministry Groups, Trustees, and committees to the groups themselves, who shall report to
 the Council. The Council shall also, at its first meeting each year, appoint a Nominating
 Committee, which committee shall be responsible for nominations for election of the 
Church officers, as well as members of the Council, the Church Ministry Groups and the
Trustees at the next Congregational Meeting called for that purpose. The Nominating 
Committee shall consist of five members, three or more of which shall not be members of
the Council. The Council may also appoint such other committees or subcommittees or may
 delegate duties to any ministry group, as it may deem necessary to fulfill its duties and to
 meet the needs of the Congregation and the Church. Any such appointment or delegation of
 duties must be made on an annual basis. To the extent that any officer, Ministry Group,
 Trustee or committee of the Church pursues a policy or course of action that conflicts with
a stated policy of the Council, the Council shall attempt to meet with and discuss the
 conflict with the group or officer. If their differences are not resolved to the satisfaction of 
both, then such issue shall be presented at the next Congregational meeting for direction
 from the Congregation.

The Church Council shall provide for Lord’s Supper and aid in its administration.
 Whenever possible, the Lord’s Supper shall be served by two members of the Council and
two members of the Congregation. It is the intention of the By-Laws to encourage the
 leaders and members of the Church to serve one another in Christ’s name.

The Council
shall be responsible for the approval and administration of all contracts of the Church. The
 Council shall be responsible for filling the pulpit and for the overall ministry of the Church.
The Council shall be responsible for preparing and submitting to the Congregation the
 Church’s budget each year, and for administering the budget enacted by the Congregation.
 Through the Church Steward, who shall be the chair of the Trustees of the Church, the
 Council shall oversee the assets of the Church, including the buildings and capital of the 
Church.

Section K- Church Ministry Groups

MEMBERS AND ELECTION: The four permanent Ministry Groups of the Church shall
 be those set forth below, together with any ad hoc committees established by the
 Congregation or Council, as they deem necessary. Each group shall have five members, 
including its Chair, who shall be a member of the Church Council. The group members 
shall be elected to three-year terms by the Congregation, with the terms to be staggered
 such that no more than two members are elected to three-year terms at any given annual
 meeting. Electing a new member for the remainder of the unexpired term shall fill
 vacancies. Recognizing that the Lord’s work requires many hands, each group shall be
 encouraged, where possible, to involve members of the Congregation to carry out specific 
tasks under the direction of, or in coordination with, a member of the Ministry Group. The 
responsibilities of each group, through meetings to be held at least ten times per year, are 
set forth below:

Education and Evangelism: The purpose of this Ministry Group is to make known the
 word of God. The members are responsible for developing specific programs for
 proclaiming and teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which includes the Sunday school
 program, as well as youth and adult education and programs. The group shall also work
with the other Ministry Groups to make sure that the Church’s teaching and evangelistic
 callings are considered in all that we do as a Church.

Public Worship: The purpose of this Ministry Group is to assist the minister in creating an
experiences that will explore and expand the Congregations relationship with God and Jesus
 Christ. This Group is responsible for developing specific programs that enrich the weekly
 worship service, including but not limited to the music program, the sacramental ministry,
 and the dressing and supplying of the sanctuary (the altar clothes, candles, etc.). The Group 
is also responsible for providing feedback and support to the staff (ministers, organist,
 choir director, etc.) regarding the conduct of the worship service.

Missions: The purpose of this Ministry Group is to empower and enable individual
 members and the church as a body to recognize that as Christians we are sent forth into the 
world. This Group is responsible for developing specific programs that enable the church
 and its members to put the Christians Faith into action, by acts of service, justice, love and
 peace. It is to work with the Church’s Evangelism and Education, Public Worship, and
 Community Ministries, whenever and wherever possible.

Community: The purpose of this Ministry Group is to assure that the Church is an active
 and vital Christian presence supporting the community. This Group is responsible for 
developing programs that strengthen the connection between the Church and the
 community through fellowship groups serving all ages, seminars, suppers, and fairs open 
to the community. It is also responsible for working with the minister to promote the caring
 and concerns of the Church. This Group shall work closely with the Ministry Groups to 
make sure that the church is always reaching out to support and care for the community
 wherever and whenever possible.

Section L – Trustees

The Trustees shall consist of five members, including the Church Steward, who shall be the
 Chair of the Trustees. The Trustees shall be elected to three-year terms by the
 Congregation, with the terms to be staggered such that no more than two members are 
elected to three-year terms at any given annual meeting. Vacancies shall be filled by electing 
a new member for the remainder of the unexpired term. The Trustees are responsible for
 the maintenance, propagation and use of the building and capital of the Church. They shall
 oversee the investment of the Church’s funds consistent with the policies and direction of
 the Congregation and the Church Council. They shall also act to maintain, repair, and
 replace the buildings of the Church, and shall oversee any other assets of the Church that 
are not part of the operating budget. Through the Church Steward, they shall report to, and
 work with, the Church Council and the Congregation to accomplish the goals and policies 
of the Church as they relate to the Church’s assets.

Section M – Church Historian

The Church Historian shall be elected for a one year term at each annual meeting and shall
 keep a permanent record of all historical church memorabilia, church news, worship
 bulletins, copies of annual reports, and newspaper clippings about the Church and pastors; 
and shall keep files of all pastoral memorabilia of their terms of service. These materials 
shall be kept in safe-keeping in accordance with their historical importance and nothing 
shall be discarded without consent of a special or regular church meeting authorizing the 
removing and/or discarding of any materials.

Section N – The Pastoral Search Committee

When a Pastoral vacancy occurs, the Church Council shall present to the Congregation, at a
 meeting called especially for that purpose, a slate of nominees consisting of a representative 
from each of the Ministry Groups of the Church and Board of Trustees, and at least three 
members at large from other groups or constituencies within the Church. Alternates may be
 elected, as the Congregation deems necessary. All members of the Committee shall be 
active Church members. Upon its election, the Search Committee shall elect its own
 chairman (men) and Secretary. It shall meet regularly for the purpose of locating the most
 suitable candidate for the Ministry of the Church and presenting said candidate to the 
Congregation for examination and approval. The Guidelines established by the New 
Hampshire Conference of the United Church of Christ that are applicable at the time shall
 be closely adhered to by the Search Committee in determining its procedures.

Article 7. Meetings

Section A – Worship

Public worship shall be held, statedly, on the Lord’s Day and on such other occasions as 
the Church or the Public Worship Ministry Group shall determine. The Lord’s Supper shall
 be administered on the first Lord’s Day of every month and at such times as the Pastor and 
the Public Worship Group may determine.

Section B – Business Meetings

The Annual meeting of the church shall be held in January at such date as the Church
 Council shall determine, for the election of officers for the ensuing year; receiving written 
reports and hearing early reports of officers, organizations and departments, and to transact
 business and adopt new plans for the new year. The fiscal year of the church will run from 
January 1st to December 31st. Special meetings of the Church may be called by the Pastor 
or by the Clerk on the request of the Church Council, or on the written request of any 
fifteen members, specifying the object thereof. Such notice shall be read at the public
 service preceding the day fixed for the meeting. For action which involves property 
interests, the notice shall be given two successive Sundays.
 A Quorum at any meeting of the church shall consist of twenty-one voting members. A
 majority vote of the members present and voting shall be decisive. The Calling of a Pastor 
shall require a majority vote of all members present at a meeting especially called for this
 purpose.
 At any regular meeting for worship, the church may, without special notice, act upon the 
reception of members, and upon the appointment of delegates to councils and conferences
 of the church, but not upon other business. The Pastor may, and shall when requested by
the Church Council, call from the pulpit special business meetings, the particular object of
 the meeting being clearly stated in the notice.

Article 8. Organizations

This church regards as integral parts of itself all organizations formed for the development 
of any part of its life and work. Of all such organizations the church shall expect a report at 
the annual meeting.

Article 9. Amendments

This constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting
 at any annual meeting of the church, or at a meeting especially called for that purpose, the 
proposed amendments being stated in the call. No change shall be made in Articles 1, 2, 3, 
and 4 except at the annual meeting, said proposed change having been laid before the
 church in writing at a business meeting not less than one month before the annual meeting
 and read from the pulpit on the Sunday next succeeding such proposal.

Constitution adopted January 1954
First Revision January 1962
Second Revision January 1972
Third Revision January 1975
Fourth Revision January 1983
Fifth Revision January 1987
Amended (Article 5) October 1992
Amended (Article 7) October 1994
Amended (Article 6-Section U) January 1997
Sixth Revision January 1999
Amended (Article 6) January 2000